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UFC, Reebok sign deal to dress fighters and limit exposure of all other athletes’ sponsors

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The UFC announced today a sponsoring deal that deeply changes the workings of athletes’ sponsoring in MMA.

The 6-year contract signed with Rebook says that starting July 6, 2015 the sports apparel giant will have the exclusivity to dress all UFC athletes in all UFC events, including fight week, fight night and all UFC-produced media content.

The deal was inspired by the same deals leagues like the NBA and NFL have with outfit and apparel companies.

With that, athletes will no longer be permitted to display any outside sponsor logos in any UFC events, including the traditional fight banners.

Here’s what changes, according to the news posted on UFC.com.

Athletes will no longer be permitted to have outside sponsor logos on athletic apparel during UFC fight week official events, including fight night, UFC-produced content or other official UFC events.

And individual sponsor banners will no longer be permitted for the walkout or inside the Octagon beginning with the UFC event on July 11, 2015, coinciding with International Fight Week in Las Vegas, Nev. The new policy will start the week of July 6, 2015.

Athletes can continue to maintain their individual apparel and non-apparel sponsors outside all UFC events, and existing or prospective sponsors may use an athlete’s name and likeness. But they cannot use UFC trademarks unless they have a direct commercial relationship with UFC.

03_STAMP_Graciemag_BlackFDay_2014The UFC also announced that a large amount of the revenue generated by the deal with Rebook will be transfered to athletes.

The news posted on UFC.com also listed the benefits of the new agreement for the athletes:

– Associating UFC athletes with a global athletic footwear and apparel brand, with high quality performance apparel specifically developed, tested and produced for MMA athletes.

– Guaranteed income for each fight, eliminating the burden of seeking sponsors on a per-event basis.

– Opportunity to generate royalty income from the new athlete-specific products created through the program.

– Fighters can choose from an array of colors and styles of apparel and kit, allowing for some form of customization.

The UFC did not disclose the total figures of deal with Reebok.

According to UFC President, Dana White, the feedback he’s been getting from athletes is overwhelmingly positive:

“Pretty much everybody, the men and women that I’ve talked to, they’re pretty excited about it,” White said. “I really got no negative feedback whatsoever, from anybody.

For more info, go to UFC.com

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