UFC-Reebok unveils uniforms

June 30, 2015

The UFC unveiled its Reebok fighter “kits” in a glitzy press conference in New York City Tuesday morning.  Many UFC stars were on hand to model the new uniforms which go into effect starting at UFC 189 next week.

The unveiling included many fighters based on home country and then the champions of each division (except Jose Aldo as he is training in Brazil).  The UFC and Reebok stressed “performance and customization” and fighters that were interviewed talked about how the new uniforms were specified for combat sports.  The uniforms had differing color variations although the design was mainly the same.  Champions in each division wore black uniforms.  Fighter names are on the back of the jersey and country patches are on the sleeves.

During the unveiling, Reebok officials talked about three types of kits: the country kit, a universal kit and a champion kit.  The country kit are specific to the country that the fighter is from including design elements specific to that nation.  The champion kits are the aforementioned black and also have gold and red trim.

There are also walkout wear including hooded sweatshirts, t-shirts, jerseys and sports bras available which will be made available for retail to the public.

Reebok already has UFC apparel on sale on its web site.  Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre Reebok gear are available in addition to UFC fighters.  Replica jerseys go for $70-$95 while Reebok t-shirts range from $30-$35.

The uniforms are already finding criticism as there are glaring misspellings and errors on the jerseys.

Payout Perspective:

It was an interesting debut for the kits and we shall see how soon fighters and fans adopt to the new Reebok-branded uniforms.  The country design is an interesting idea as it leverages fans with their loyalty to their country.  Also, the champion uniforms are a nice touch to make them stand out.  While we might debate the design issues, the overaching issue with the Reebok deal is the dent in sponsorship money that many of the UFC fighters will take.  Obviously, it’s something that many fighters have talked about but I’m sure most will not do anything more than this.

13 Responses to “UFC-Reebok unveils uniforms”

  1. tops E on June 30th, 2015 11:28 AM

    Hahahaha…reebok and the cheapie deal hahaha

  2. saldathief on June 30th, 2015 11:40 AM

    hahaha they look like an old Soviet style uniform. Ok UFC fighters, everyone wear the communist approved clothing. bahahahahaha bow to Dana

  3. joe on June 30th, 2015 4:57 PM

    “To get a return on investment for the money Reebok is spending on the UFC, they’re probably going to run this program cheap. This isn’t the NFL, this isn’t soccer, this isn’t baseball. There’s just not enough money in MMA to get better than Giblert out of it, and that’s as damning a statement as ever there could be.”

    http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2015/6/30/8871219/ufc-reebok-uniform-deal-rollout-reaction-design-editorial-errors-investment-mma-business

  4. d on June 30th, 2015 9:24 PM

    Joe, you love contradicting yourself. Because according to you the fighters are underpaid and the UFC is bringing in tons of cash. You can’t have it both ways. Yet another one of your many contradictions.

  5. joe on July 1st, 2015 3:16 PM

    How so?

    I’m just quoting what they writer of the article said.

    There isn’t enough money in MMA for Reebok for them to invest too much. MMA t-shirts aren’t football jerseys. They don’t sell the same.

  6. d on July 1st, 2015 7:43 PM

    What? You make no sense.

    You were quoting the writer because you agreed with him. Yet, on another occasion, you argued with me for a week saying how much cash Zuffa was bringing in. So once again, you can’t have it both ways.

  7. BrainSmasher on July 1st, 2015 10:40 PM

    That’s stupid Joe. You think it was always fashionable for a non football player to wear a football jersey in public? It become popular because people wanted to relate to their fav team or player. People support the UFC, the sport, and the fighters the same way. I have supported many fighters over the years and buying a shirt that is the official UFC shirt is more appealing than one by the fighter himself with a second rate company. Only an idiot would think there is no market for the stuff. I have personally seen UFC and fight Merch fly off th shelves for 20 years. Have you been to a live UFC? Have you seen the lines for Merch? Fans want it. Its just a matter of building more fans. Which takes time.

    Ironic how far the sport has come in 15 years. One time I hate Tito Ortiz and his ex wife calling my house to confirm my order. Now fighters are having Reebok make their clothes and paying tens of millions od dollars to do so. It will only get bigger as the UFC signs deals for each product line.

  8. joe on July 2nd, 2015 9:24 AM

    D, its not about whether or not the UFC is making money..

    It’s about how much money Reebok can make off it. That was the writer’s point.

    Since they can’t make much money, UFC hear gets the ‘Giblert’ gear.

    I don’t expect this gear to ever become popular, tho. They’re ugly and expensive.

    The women’s gear looked good. But it’s also very expensive.

    The UFC store in Vegas closed recently cause their shit wasn’t selling. There may not be much of a market for this stuff

  9. d on July 2nd, 2015 9:51 AM

    ” This isn’t the NFL, this isn’t soccer, this isn’t baseball. There’s just not enough money in MMA to get better than Giblert out of it, and that’s as damning a statement as ever there could be.”

    This statement disagrees with you.

    Also, you are very wrong about their merchandising and licensing deals do very well. I guarantee you the sport of mma brings in much more money as a whole in terms of merchandise than pro soccer does in the US.

    The reason why this deal wasn’t as big as something like the MLS is because of the stigma behind it that has lingered for years, but is gradually eroding. The popularity of mma is much bigger than MLS and their merchandise definitely sells more. How many people do you see wearing soccer gear in the US? I see moms wearing Tap Out gear these days. I rarely see someone wearing soccer gear unless they are playing soccer.

    There are vendors all over the place on ebay, amazon, etc selling mma gear. It took a hit last year because of the down year, but years prior it was way up and it will probably be coming back because of the turnaround this year on ppv.

  10. d on July 2nd, 2015 10:00 AM

    Think about it Joe, why do you think the fighters are complaining about sponsorship money? They are losing money through this deal because the sponsors- ie, many of which were mma clothing line companies, are no longer allowed to sponsor them.

    The UFC took the low deal with Reebok because it brings legitimacy to them and they can also maintain control over any future sponsorship deals. Those clothing lines were doing huge revenue. Tap Out is a massive company worth hundreds of millions. Same goes for Affliction and there are a number of others. Are you trying to tell me those aren’t bigger than anything related to soccer in the US?

  11. joe on July 2nd, 2015 10:52 AM

    OK D.

    I’m not gonna argue some one else’s position. The link is there, if you think there’s as much money in MMA for Reebok as there are in other major sports take it up with him

  12. d on July 2nd, 2015 9:38 PM

    You quoted him and were using it as evidence. My point wasn’t just for UFC/Reebok- because that wasn’t only what he said. He said this specifically:

    “There’s just not enough money in MMA to get better than Giblert out of it,”

    If that is the case, why are there mma clothing lines that are worth hundreds of millions of dollars?

  13. A. Martin on August 25th, 2015 5:40 PM

    The problem with marketing the uniforms is that they are too homogeneous. I get the sponsorship aspect, but the fighters look like a cycling team and not MMA fighters. I get how White used the NFL in comparison, but in the NFL as with other sports teams the maker of the uniforms is secondary to the team and the individual number that corresponds to a persons favorite player. Nobody goes out and buys an NFL jersey, you buy a team and favorite player jersey. You want to make this work and truly be successful in the marketing, have the the teams design their jersey and the fighter add some individual mark that represents them then a fan will purchase one, it is sports marketing 101. Think how many Ronda MMA jerseys the UFC and Reebok would have sold by now, McGregor’s jersey, Cain Velsquez. They can all be made by Reebok and carry both UFC and their logo, the jerseys have to market the fighter. How many kids do you see wearing NBA logo shirts, none dummies. How may kids do you see wearing a Lebron James jersey. Catch my drift White and Reebok. Your welcome.

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