The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is looking to rejig its sponsorship portfolio, especially their kitting partner Reebok. According to president Dana White, the MMA promotion is considering cutting its ties with technical supplier Reebok when their deal expires at the end of 2020.
Asked on ESPN Radio’s Dan Le Batard show whether the US$70 million, six-year contract with the sportswear brand was expiring, White revealed that the UFC is “talking to people now”. Further reporting from ESPN suggested that the UFC will part ways with Reebok at the end of the partnership.
The deal with US-based brand has been unpopular with fighters as it impacts on their ability to earn individually from other sponsors due to Reebok’s stranglehold on in-arena branding.
Whilst personal endorsement deals are not prohibited outside of official UFC events, all fighters are provided with Reebok clothing and are not allowed to sport other marks during fight weeks or weigh-ins.
Asked if fighters will be allowed to show sponsor branding in the octagon, White’s response suggested that the UFC is looking to stick to its existing model.
White said: “The fighters get paid for whatever sponsor we have, they get a piece of that. And they can have whatever sponsors they want outside the cage.”