Conor McGregor comeback fight gets MMA star crucial brand deals

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Mixed martial arts icon Conor McGregor has leveraged the hype around his comeback fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229, concluded on Sunday, with several key  brand endorsement deals.

The 30-year-old Irish fighter announced a new multi-year deal with Adidas-owned sportswear brand Reebok and a one-year renewal with energy drinks brand Monster Energy.

McGregor went on to lose by submission in the fourth round, but the fight and McGregor’s return to the UFC are expected to be a huge commercial success nonetheless.

McGregor’s deal with Monster is reportedly a seven-figure consideration, described by Monster’s MMA sales chief Hans Molenkamp as “one of the more lucrative deals the company has done with an athlete”.

McGregor’s manager Audie Attar said the Reebok deal is worth more than $5m.

Both Monster and Reebok are current sponsors of the UFC, with which McGregor signed a six-fight contract last month, at the same time as launching Proper No. 12, his own brand of whiskey as part of the sponsorship agreement. UFC 229 marked the first fight of McGregor’s six-fight deal.

Also Read: McGregor’s six-fight deal with UFC includes his whiskey brand as sponsor

McGregor’s UFC comeback fight at UFC 229 with Khabib Nurmagomedov was sold out in a mere three minutes after the tickets went on sale online, marking the second-largest gate in the UFC history recorded at UFC 205.

Also Read: McGregor’s UFC comeback fight at UFC 229 sells out in three minutes!

Until UFC 229, McGregor had been out of the UFC action since 2016, the period during which he switched to boxing to take on former world welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather last year.

However, being out of action for almost two years, resulting in stripping off his Lightweight Championship title after UFC 223 on April 7 due to inactivity, did not stop the MMA star from getting the fourth spot in the Forbes’ list of the World’s Highest-Paid Athletes for 2018, thanks primarily to his extensive endorsement portfolio.

McGregor, listed at number 12 in Forbes Celebrity 100 for 2018, also has sponsorship deals with an array of global brands including Beats Electronics, Burger King, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and Budweiser, netting him 14% of his $99 million annual salary from brand endorsement deals.