Top 10 of 2012: No 6 Nike sponsors Silva, Jones and dos Santos
December 29, 2012
MMA Payout’s No. 6 business story of 2012 is the Nike sponsorship of UFC fighters. Anderson Silva, Jon Jones and Junior dos Santos are all sponsored by the sportswear company.
Jon Jones received a global sponsorship with the company which may include a signature clothing line. Jones wore a “Bones Knows” t-shirt wherever he went in leading up to his fight at UFC 152 with Vitor Belfort. Prior to that, Jones was sponsored by the UFC when he faced Rashad Evans in April. The Nike deal showed that it was interested in Jones and his DUI did not alter Nike’s plans with Jones.
Junior dos Santos is the third and most recent Nike signing from the UFC. JDS has been wearing a shirt with his last name and swoosh in promoting UFC 155. The deal is officially with Nike Brasil.
The deals show that Nike is interested in MMA and has decided to sponsor fighters to get its brand out to MMA fans. There could be a market for its “Nike Combat” gear and other athletic workout wear. It will be interesting to see how sales will go for a Jones or Silva line of clothing. Although the deal could be seen as opening the door for other MMA fighters, Nike’s strategy is focusing on UFC champions. So, the investment in a fighter is relatively low risk considering Silva, Jones and dos Santos are guaranteed to headline the event they appear. Thus, the visibility of the Swoosh would be at a maximum. Still, the sponsorships are key in the move for blue chip sponsors in the sport.