Good4U Managing Director talks sponsorship deal with MFC

January 26, 2011

Banned by the UFC, Good4U sport and wellness beverages have entered into a sponsorship deal with Maximum Fighting Championships (MFC). MMA Payout had the opportunity to contact Good4U Managing Director Richard DeBanks about the deal.

Via DeBanks:

“We have signed a 3 fight deal with the Maximum Fighting Championship (mid – high 5 figures). There are several reasons we signed a deal with MFC:

  • They have been probably the most consistent organization after the UFC in terms of putting together solid cards on schedule
  • They attract the highest levels of viewership on HD Net
  • They are running events in the markets that we have already established distribution

We are open to working with any organization that has its house in order, and will be looking for good partnerships in the US and Europe as well.”

DeBanks indicated that UFC star Shane Carwin will continue to endorse Good4U despite not being able to wear the Good4U logo in the Octagon.  DeBanks stated that, “it is business as usual with Shane including photo shoots, posters, point of sale, voice overs, personal appearances etc”

DeBanks added:

“This won’t affect our partnership with Shane Carwin.  Shane is and will be a major asset for us. The logo placement in the UFC is really only a small portion in the overall mix. Gatorade for example doesn’t even have their logo on George St Pierre. Logos on fighters are most important for clothing companies.”

Since the UFC ban, DeBanks is optimistic about the future of MMA sponsorships for Good4U:

“I also think that we are going to see greater interest in other organizations. It is a big world out there and anyone would be foolish to think that all of the best fighters and best fights are all within one company.”

Payout Perspective:

DeBanks had stated that the MFC was a possible target for sponsorship. This made sense since, as DeBanks pointed out in his third bullet point, the MFC is running events in areas where Good4U is established. Consumers will not have any problems identifying Good4U.

It will be interesting to see the outcome of the sponsorship deal after the three fight contract.

13 Responses to “Good4U Managing Director talks sponsorship deal with MFC”

  1. Matt C. on January 26th, 2011 2:47 PM

    Good4U is banned from Strikeforce also because of their Rockstar deal right?

  2. rick on January 26th, 2011 9:45 PM

    Haha, he said “I also think that we are going to see greater interest in other organizations. It is a big world out there and anyone would be foolish to think that all of the best fighters and best fights are all within one company.”

    Yeah, i can see the headlines later, I WAS A FOOL TO Leave the UFC, UFC is MMA and all the fights and best fighters ARE IN THE UFC! LMAO…dumbshit…!!

  3. Jason Cruz on January 26th, 2011 11:36 PM

    Matt C.,

    G4U is not banned in SF, but decided not to pursue sponsorships in SF because of Rockstar.

  4. Matt C. on January 27th, 2011 5:35 AM

    Jason Cruz,

    I was under the impression that Rockstar’s deal was exclusive and would effectively ban all other direct competitors to Rockstar from entering Strikeforce as long as the deal is in place.

    So doesn’t Strikeforce’s deal with Rockstar prohibit G4U from making a deal with Strikeforce?

    That same deal also bans G4U from sponsoring fighters on Strikeforce broadcasts as well right?

  5. Todd on January 27th, 2011 7:56 AM

    Sorry to burst your UFC bubble Rick but there are some pretty good fighters out there that aren’t in the UFC. Ryan Jimmo for example destroyed Wilson Gouvea right after he left the UFC.
    Not to mention this guy is probably going to be all ovr the promotion ad on hdnt for 1/100th of what he would have paid to be in th UFC that’s a business decision not a fan decision.Forget about who your favorite TUF fighter is and remember this is a business mma site

  6. jv on January 27th, 2011 9:21 AM

    I thought Rockstar was exclusive as well. I could be wrong. But even if they aren’t Rockstar is really, really identified with SF. IMO more so than Xyence is with the UFC. Interesting that they don’t care much about the logo. We now also have a rough number we can attach to their involvement. At 50,000 – 1000,000 for 3 fights is 16.66k to 33k per event. Now we need to see what that gets them.

  7. Jason Cruz on January 27th, 2011 10:42 AM

    Matt C. and jv:

    I think Rockstar might be exclusive. But, G4U has never attempted to see if it could sponsor in SF…so no ban. As you guys can probably see, if G4U ever tried to sponsor in SF, it would probably be denied.

    DeBanks talks about it here in October.

  8. Matt C. on January 27th, 2011 2:26 PM

    Jason Cruz,

    Isn’t that just G4U’s media spin for publicity?

    I mean really G4U has gotten a lot of publicity from this banned from UFC stuff but in reality they are prohibited from sponsoring fighters on broadcasts for both Strikeforce and the UFC for the exact same reason.

  9. Rick on January 27th, 2011 9:10 PM

    We were in the process of putting together a sponsorship deal with Alistair Overeem in Strikeforce and have had other potential fighters in Strikeforce but Rockstar raised an objection, which wasn’t unexpected given their omnipresence at Strikeforce events.
    Publicity from the ban was great but at the end of the day it’s better to be in than out.
    Nevertheless there are many many opportunities in MMA.

  10. Matt C. on January 28th, 2011 8:20 AM


    First off I want to thank you Rick for personally responding.

    Ok so for the record then. G4U is banned from Strikeforce for the same reason G4U is banned from the UFC then. Did I have that right?

    Also one more question. Is your G4U deal with MFC an exclusive deal?

    Does it lock out competitors from sponsoring fighters in MFC in the same way that Strikeforce’s Rockstar deal locks you out of Strikeforce or UFC’s exclusive deal locks you out of the UFC?

  11. Rick on January 28th, 2011 10:03 PM

    No problem happy to contribute,
    There has never been an “Official Ban” UFC style with Strikeforce, but in the process of working with and potentially sponsoring fighters, their agents approached Strikeforce management about logo placement on the night of the event, and either SF management or someone from Strikeforce raised an objection and that was the end of it. Some of them we have worked with outside of SF such as Gegard Mousasi for Dynamite.
    Our deal with the MFC makes us exclusive for non alcoholic performance and/or sports related drinks.

  12. Matt C. on January 29th, 2011 2:33 PM

    Thanks again for the response. I hope this questioning doesn’t come across as too harsh because I truly appreciate you taking the time to respond. So having said that I’m going to be as straight forward as I can to get my point across.

    See that response is exactly what makes me say your “Official Ban” from the UFC is being played up for media publicity. Let’s look at things and please correct me if I’m wrong.

    As the way things stand right now the reason that you were prohibiting from sponsoring fighters on UFC broadcasts is that it conflicted with an exclusive drink sponsor the UFC has. That is correct right?

    As the way things stand right now the reason that you were prohibiting from sponsoring fighters on Strikeforce broadcasts is that it conflicted with an exclusive drink sponsor that Strikeforce has. That is correct right?

    So if both of those are correct then the only difference I see is that your choosing to play up and label the UFC prohibiting you from sponsor fighters on UFC broadcasts as an “Official Ban”. While at the same time labeling the situation with Strikeforce something totally different.

    Now for another bit of evidence that makes me say your playing the media publicity game. Let’s look back at part of the message you posted on your website after being informed about the UFC’s decision to prohibit you from further sponsoring fighters on UFC broadcasts.

    “It has already been said many times that as much as any other sport, MMA fighters depend on sponsorship this isn’t a cliché tis (sic) is a fact.

    For those of us that love the sport and want to see it grow, we should remember that there are companies out there that have the money and want to pay fighters. Shutting us out will only make it that much harder to support and develop new talent coming into the UFC.”

    In that response you appear to be bashing the exclusive deal policy that is shutting you out of the UFC. However now you have adopted that same kind of exclusive deal policy with MFC that will effectively shut out competitors from MFC.

    So see my problem is what appears to be double standards for things UFC related with G4U in the media. The UFC’s exclusive deal policy gets bashed for shutting you out. Except now you have the same kind of deal with MFC that shuts out competitors. Not being able to sponsor fighters in the UFC gets labeled as you being “BANNED” but not being able to sponsor fighters in Strikeforce gets labeled as things just didn’t work out.

    For the record I do appreciate and thank you very much for getting involved in sponsoring MMA.

    Now for what brought all this on. It was the choice of using those 4 words to begin this piece. “Banned by the UFC”. Singling out the UFC for prohibiting or “banning” someone because it conflicted with an exclusive deal they had. While at the same time other MMA organizations have the exact same deals that prohibit or “ban” for conflicts. Namely Strikeforce which I mentioned. Then to top it off the very organization this article is about MFC is entering into and exclusive deal with G4U that also prohibits or “bans” competitors. It just didn’t seem very fair to me to paint the UFC in this negative light with their prohibiting or “banning” of certain sponsors because of exclusive deals while it’s common place in the industry for those deals to exist. Especially when the deal being discussed in this article that brought MFC and G4U together is exactly that type of exclusive deal. However this article doesn’t mention that little fact.

    ***** Can’t see my post. Sorry if this turns out to be a double post.

  13. Rick on February 8th, 2011 9:56 AM

    Hi Matt,

    The reason we use those four words “banned by the UFC” is that the UFC came out and prohibited us from Sponsoring fighters after we had been doing it for some time. Aside from this we are classified as Sports Nutrition Drinks while Xenergy is an Energy Drink
    The reason I haven’t said “Banned by Strikeforce” is that I have never spoken directly with Strikeforce there have only been some inquiries from various managers, and most if not all of them came after the UFC ban. So it wouldn’t have been a little redundant after that.
    Finally are we contradicting ourselves by signing an exclusive deal with the MFC? I suppose to an extent we are, but bear in mind had we not there is a chance that we may have been shut out of every major organization.
    It would have been a pretty foolish (if altruistic) move on our part if we had allowed Rockstar, and Xenergy to promote themselves in an organization that we title sponsor while they are blocking us at the same time.
    The deal with MFC allows us to fully engage an athlete like Ryan Jimmo which you will see at MFC 28.
    At the end of the day I’m running a multi million dollar business in a very competitive industry, my objectives are to grow the brand, expand distribution and increase revenue. All sponsorship is a means to an end as we all know, I happen to be a fan of MMA, so If it’s possible and it makes sense we like to support the athletes and orgs. We also have to play the hand we’re dealt, I hope this provides some detail into the decisions.

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