As if Jon Jones’ Nike shorts weren’t cool enough to see, it sounds like Reebok is about to make the move to Ultimate Fighting sponsorship as well.
“I’m flying to Boston right now,” White told MMAjunkie.com following the post-event news conference for UFC 159 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. “And then (UFC CEO) Lorenzo (Fertitta) flies in there tomorrow night. (UFC Senior VP for Global Marketing Mike) Mossholder’s waiting for me, and a lot of the other big executives from the company are flying in and we’re meeting with Reebok on Monday.”
UFC fighters Jamie Varner and Johny Hendricks this past week inked sponsorship deals with the athletic shoe and apparel company, their management team at Knock Out Representation announced.
Earlier this year, former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson complained prior to his final fight with the company that despite a sponsorship deal he had with Reebok, he wasn’t allowed to have the company as a sponsor in the cage.
But apparently the potential is there for that to end. And White said that should a deal be struck with Reebok, any UFC fighter would be able to represent the company inside the octagon.
“We’re going in and talking to Reebok about some big, big s—, (and) Nike doesn’t know,” White said.
I wonder how big is big. Big like Reebok becoming the official shorts supplier of the UFC or something like that? When you think about it, that’s a pretty plum sponsorship opportunity sitting right there waiting for someone to take advantage of. Every other league sells its uniforms off to the highest bidder, so why not the UFC? A lot of us would be sadface to the extreme if that was the end of gladiator shorts or fancypants, but it doesn’t sound outside the realm of something the UFC would impose upon its fighters.
Whatever the deal ends up being, it sounds like there’s a lot of money involved. Money that will hopefully end up in many fighters’ pockets and fuel some sort of sneaker company war for MMA supremacy. This is so crazy. I gotta say, if you told me back in 2004 that the UFC would be courted by both Nike and Reebok, I’d have called you a crazy bitch. Now the sport has been generally accepted into the mainstream to the point where it’s hard to understand what took them so long to hop on board. Apparently Doritos might be signing with the UFC too. Not to diss CondomDepot.com or Lumber Liquidators, but this is an improvement.