Inc. Magazine features Blue Grace Logistics UFC sponsorship

May 30, 2012

Inc. magazine’s June issue featured UFC sponsor BlueGrace Logistics and its marketing in the UFC.  The article interviews CEO Bobby Harris and UFC agent Malki Kawa about the marketing.

Via Inc. Magazine:

Of all the peculiar places businesses advertise, a man’s backside may top the list.  But in the world of mixed martial arts, it’s the most visible space on a fighter’s shorts.  For sponsors, that makes it the money sport, and, according to Bobby Harris, founder and CEO of BlueGrace Logistics, it’s worth every penny.

BlueGrace, a shipping, transportation and logistics company has sponsored more than 20 fighters including current lightweight champ Benson Henderson.  Similar to MusclePharm, its logo is readily identifiable.

Harris had a chance meeting with Jon Jones in the lobby of a Las Vegas hotel.  Impressed with Jones, Harris considered a sponsorship deal with the UFC.

Some other takeaways from the article:

–  It can cost “as little” as $10,000 to sponsor a fighter for one night and an annual contract is in the “low six figures.” According to the article, its a fraction of the cost if a company wanted to get into NASCAR.

–  The “newness” of the sport allows personal relationships between fighter and sponsor.  The BlueGrace-sponsored fighters promotes and interacts with fancs for the brand on Twitter and Facebook.

–  Thiago Alves, a fighter with an annual contract, appeared on its holiday card and made a personal appearance at a BlueGrace career fair.

The article also comes up with some sport comparisons when it comes to marketing:

Equestrian – $15,000 an event
Surfing – $25,000 an event
Bowling – $20,000 an event.  The article noted that this sport has a much lower cost of entry than other televised sports.
Women’s Golf – $50,000 an event

UPDATE:  Credit Larry Rothstein from Source Communications with the above estimates.

Payout Perspective:

It’s an informative writeup on how a company with no real ties to MMA got into sponsorship. The comparables also show why a smaller company still may find value in sponsorship opportunities with the UFC. The article did not address the UFC sponsorship fee so its not clear whether the cost of sponsoring includes the fee or not.

One Response to “Inc. Magazine features Blue Grace Logistics UFC sponsorship”

  1. billybob on June 2nd, 2012 10:06 AM

    lets be serious, blue grace is not paying 10k per sponsorship. all hype.

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