14 for 14: No. 2 UFC-Reebok announce uniform deal

December 31, 2014

There was much speculation as to when the UFC would broker a uniform deal.  The long-awaited deal will begin during International Fight Week in July 2015 according to the joint announcement on December 2nd.

Details of the deal are outlined here.

ufc and reebokThe deal is estimated at 6 years for $70 million and offers a unique distribution deal which the UFC touts will give back to its fighters based on UFC rankings.  However, with the announcement of the UFC-Reebok deal, it also means that all other fight sponsors would be eliminated from the Octagon.  There will no longer be fight banners or any other sponsor patches on shorts or t-shirts.  Fighters may not wear other sponsors during UFC related promotions leading up to an event.  This information led to many concerned fighters.  Brendan Schaub indicated that he lost 6 sponsors in light of the Reebok deal.  The Heavyweight stated that he made twice as much from sponsors as his fight purse from the UFC.  It also means the end of many sponsors we are familiar seeing such as Dynamic Fastener.

On the other end of the spectrum, Jon Jones and Ronda Rousey signed individual sponsorship deals with the brand.  The two join Johny Hendricks and Anthony Pettis as those fighters with sponsor deals with the company.

The UFC indicated it reached out to fighters about the deal prior to its announcement although a list of those fighters has not been disclosed to the public.

Payout Perspective:

It will be interesting to see how the deal will play out.  While many knew of the impending uniform deal, they did not know that fighters would be paid based on their UFC ranking.  The rankings are based on media vote which adds a layer of uncertainty to the whole situation.  One might surmise that any controversy about fighters getting paid from this deal will be immediately deflected to those media members that choose the rankings.  Then again, the entity that chooses the media members that votes on the rankings…the UFC.  Moreover, at this point, it does not seem like any of the fighters know how they will be compensated or what to expect based upon fighter rank.  Also, if you are an unranked fighter, will you be making more or less with the Reebok deal?  It will be interesting to see how this deal will play in the current antitrust lawsuit filed by fighters against Zuffa.

14 for 14:

3.  Bellator 131/Bellator on PPV

4.  Zuffa downgraded by Standard & Poor’s

5.  CM Punk signs with the UFC

6.  Rebney replaced by Coker

7.  UFC Fight Pass a success in first year?

8.  TRT banned by NAC, UFC

9.  UFC PPVs down

10.  WSOF airs on NBC

11.  UFC continues global expansion

12.  Rousey wins CSAC arbitration against Fight Tribe

13.  Cung Le drug suspension overturned

14.  Gil re-signs with the UFC

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