(At least it’ll be better than the “BONES” hat and Endicott jacket)
There can be no doubt that Jon Jones represents the image of everything the UFC wants to stand for. Not only does he do pretty much everything the UFC asks him to, including making an absolute fool of himself by trying to talk on television, he also puts forth a nice, clean, orthodox Christian image by promoting alcohol, fathering children out of wedlock, calling himself “Sexual Chocolate” before the big-money folks stepped in and made him change it a-la Chad “Money Shot” Mendes, and getting tattoos (Christian tattoos, mind you). So it should be no surprise that the UFC felt comfortable enough to become his clothing sponsor for his fight against Rashad Evans next Saturday:
I’ve had a goal of being sponsored by Nike for many, many years. Part of our strategy to try and make that happen one day is to not be a billboard, and not just be sponsored by TapouT one week, and Affliction one week, and then MusclePharm next week, and all these random companies. If you realize, I try to look for relationships with companies, long lasting relationships with companies. So a part of my brand is to keep it clean. Less is more in my opinion.
When Form Athletics went down pretty much every company in the business was looking for an opportunity to work with me, and I was really honored just to be wanted like that. I thought it was really awesome, it was a real honor. We came up with a strategy to keep it clean and be sponsored by the UFC itself. I’m glad the UFC wanted to work with me as well, and I think that they trust that I’ll never make them look bad. You never have to worry about me with a DWI or doing something crazy.
I think I’m a good company guy. The UFC asks me to do anything and I always do it, and I never tell them no for anything…They put in the deal that if any mainstream companies come after this win that they will let me go, and I think that’s awesome.
It’s nice to see the UFC dedicate its clothing sponsorship money to a fighter who would basically be starving if it wasn’t for this deal. I’m pretty sure that if the UFC hadn’t stepped in to sponsor Jones, he would have had to choose between selling his crappy car to pay his electric bill or living in an old refrigerator box in an alley.
Now the biggest questions are the following: will the UFC charge itself an annual sponsor fee? Will the UFC ban itself as a clothing sponsor when it inevitably rubs Fox the wrong way? What about if it decides to branch out from being a clothing sponsor to promoting fights? It should be lots of fun to kick back and watch the UFC’s incipient case of multiple personality disorder unfold before our very eyes.