New sponsors sign with UFC thanks to Endeavor, Performance Institute

November 20, 2017

The Sports Business Journal had another issue dedicated to combat sports and the UFC was a part of it with an article about how the new owners have opened up new spaces for sponsorships.

With the new ownership, Endeavor took over the role of sponsorship sales as the UFC’s department was cut as part of the trimming of the company upon acquisition.  It has been able to upgrade the UFC’s sponsor portfolio.

One thing that was not scaled down during the purchase was the new UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas.  The center which caters to UFC athletes was a $14 million investment.  It is a 30,000 square-foot training complex similar to the ones utilized by NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB athletes.  It is staffed by strength and conditioning coaches, trainers, nutritionists and physical therapists.

This past May, the UFC secured a deal with New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery.  HSS provides the UFC access to their team of physicians and serve as orthopedic consultants to the physical therapy staff at the new UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas.  In addition, it secured Body Armor as its “official sports drink” and Performance Inspired as “official sports supplement” of the UFC.

Via SBJ:

Barely six months after opening the facility, UFC has tripled the sponsorship revenue that it expected to bring in based on pro formas, landing brands such as sports drink Body Armor and nutritional supplement Performance Inspired. It didn’t hurt that WME clients Kobe Bryant and Mark Wahlberg are investors in those two respective companies.

In addition to these new areas is the idea of integrating sponsors into the UFC content instead of selling spots and dots which is a reference to patches and banners that the UFC traditionally used as revenue drivers.  For instance, fighters will appear on 7-Eleven cups as part of the convenience store sponsorship.  In 2018, when Modelo takes over as the official beer of the UFC, it will feature fighters in its “Fighting for” series of commercials.

Payout Perspective:

The article which interviews Lawrence Epstein seems to be optimistic about attracting more sponsors to be “official” UFC partners.  Although the space has yet to be occupied Epstein expects that the UFC will have a fast food sponsor and insurance sponsor.  Despite the fact Geico and Progressive have purchased spots on UFC events on FS1, it has yet to secure a deal.  But, with Endeavor in the fold and its broad range of contacts, we might see the UFC expand with more “official” sponsors.

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