FIGHT TO THE FINISH: In what is being described as the mixed martial arts organization’s largest nonbroadcast deal, the UFC has signed a six-year partnership with Reebok to become the exclusive outfitter and apparel provider for the sport.
The deal, which was revealed at a press event at Industria in New York on Tuesday, will include exclusive Fight Week gear and a Fight Week kit for the athletes, as well as UFC fan apparel and a training-specific collection that will be sold at sporting goods stores beginning in the summer.
Under the terms of the partnership, UFC will distribute “every penny” of the proceeds to its fighters based on their ranking in the sport, according to Dana White, president of the UFC. Beginning in July, athletes will no longer be permitted to have other sponsor logos on their athletic apparel during UFC official events. White said he has called around 50 of the sport’s athletes and “they’re pretty excited about it.” Top athletes Ronda Rousey, Chris Weidman and Frankie Edgar joined the companies at the event to announce the partnership.
In addition, a percentage of the Reebok/UFC product sales will be donated to Fight for Peace, a nonprofit group that combines boxing and martial arts with education in communities affected by crime and violence.
Matt O’Toole, Reebok’s president, said 35 million people use “combat training” to work out. It is these people, as well as UFC fans, that the apparel aims to target.
Todd Krinsky, vice president of combat training for Reebok, said the line will include men’s and women’s shorts and tops for training. Reebok is “looking at a higher-end collection” that would be sold in department stores, he said. The product has not yet been priced, but Krinsky said it will make its debut in the ring at UFC’s main event, Fight Week in Las Vegas, scheduled for July 7 to 12. Footwear will be added a season later, he said.