11 for 11: No. 8 The state of MMA sponsorships

December 23, 2011

With the purchase of Strikeforce by Zuffa, sponsors felt the squeeze as Strikeforce imposed the same fee (or tax) as the UFC does with its sponsors.

Strikeforce imposed the sponsor fee starting with June’s Strikeforce event. The fee also applied to Strikeforce Challengers’ sponsors.  As a result, sponsors such as Ranger Up, CageHero and VXRSI are no longer sponsoring fighters in Strikeforce.

While some do not dispute the imposition of the fee, it severed relationships some fighters had with brands since they fought at small MMA promotions. For the sponsors unable to pay the $35,000 to $50,000 fee to have its logo on a fighters’ shorts, it meant revamping its marketing strategy.

Also this year, the state of sponsors in MMA was examined as many sponsors questioned the return on investment.

Recently, clothing brand Respect Your Universe (RYU) became the UFC’s newest sponsor and signed welterweight Jon Fitch. Despite RYU, some have been critical about the UFC’s lack of obtaining new sponsorships. It will be interesting to see how many new sponsors sign on in 2012. With the Fox deal, Zuffa should be able to take advantage of the momentum.

3 Responses to “11 for 11: No. 8 The state of MMA sponsorships”

  1. Mossman on December 23rd, 2011 8:29 AM

    Weak sauce Jason… 😛

    Would of liked to have seen a discussion or some form of a break down of new versus… don’t see anymore, etc.

    I.e. Dodge came on board which is great… but havent seen Boost, Affliction, BSN etc. on the property side.

    As I have stated before… I don’t really consider fighter apparel sponsors as true UFC sponsors. Its a silly brand play especially since the UFC wants to nickel and dime ’em.

  2. Jack Frost on December 23rd, 2011 12:30 PM

    Don’t they already have sponsors for just about everything? Alcohol, cell phones, vehicles, vehicle insurance, fast food, etc. What else could be left?

  3. Jason Cruz on December 23rd, 2011 11:06 PM


    Sorry Moss, we’ll clean it up next week. We’ll likely have a 2011 “Odds and Ends” post where we’ll talk about the sponsor angle.

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