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Zuffa sponsor tax comes to Strikeforce

We should know by now that when the UFC says ‘Business as Usual’, they mean they will continue to run their business as usual, not the business of whatever company they’ve bought out and are in the process of transforming.

Zuffa has allegedly introduced a requirement for companies to pay a fee if they wish to sponsor Strikeforce fighters, similar to the so-called ‘sponsor tax’ that was introduced for sponsoring UFC fighters and events in 2009.

Comments about the new charge appeared on several forums today. Alex Davis, who manages several American Top Team fighters, responded to one thread on The Underground by saying that “The same policy that is used in the UFC is now in place at Strike Force. Sponsors must pay a fee in order to endorse athletes fighting in Strikeforce.”

Unofficial sources peg the new Strikeforce ‘sponsor tax’ at around $35,000 but there is no verification for this at present. When the UFC introduced the measure in 2009, company president Dana White admitted one company was being charged $100,000 but said there was a sliding scale in place to reflect the different economic capabilities of potential sponsors.

It’s not surprising that the UFC is importing one of it’s many money making schemes into Strikeforce. MMA ain’t a charity, son. Gotta chase that cheddar! And it’s funny … what was once railed on as a potentially devestating policy that would take money out of fighters’ pockets in 2009 now seems like a pretty reasonable policy in 2011.

Of course Zuffa’s gonna want some money out of every company that’s advertising during it’s events. There’s money to be made on all sides and they want their cut. And with there being fifteen douchewear clothing companies for every fighter on the UFC’s roster, I think the fighters will be fine. At worst, you can consider the ‘tax’ a litmus test for whether the sponsor actually has the money it promises it’ll pay it’s fighters.

  • Sodomize Intolerance

    I think the official reason given for the sponsor tax was to eliminate the Hate organizations giving fighters $100 to put a small nazi symbol on their fucking shirt.  Now they gotta shell out $35k to give that fighter $100.

    The other reason was to keep serious sponsors, dedicated to MMA, in the Big Show, rather than Wes’s Rib House or Chuck’s Tire Barn.

    I think it’s worked out so far.  Never really pay attention to ads on fighters.


    Gotta pay to play. These companies aren’t sponsoring fighters out of the goodness of their hearts. They see a stage where they can advertise their product directly to their target demographic and for a while they were getting it on the cheap. Those days are over and it’s a lot more professional now.

    I think as the sport continues to grow and become more accepted in the mainstream we’re going to see bigger and bigger sponsors enter the marketplace and ultimately the fighters will get more money.

    There is somewhat of a monkey see monkey do mentality with some of these big companies when it comes to marketing/advertising. One big company sees another big company sponsoring a fighter then they’ll want in on it as well.

  • frickshun

    ^^That’s a good assessment. At 1st, I kinda believed Dana’s bullshit. Then I talked to Shogun’s main sponsor @ the last Jerz event. He said it’s a straight up money grab w/no benefit to ANY fighters. So I was pissed.

    But the truth is, Zuffa wants to play w/the big boys. And NFL guys don’t have Condom Depot on the back of their helmets….

    Better to slowly eliminate the shitty little sponsors by jacking up rates, AND TAKING A BIG FAT PIECE OF THAT PROFIT. Hopefully, fighter pay continues to ascend through UFC growth & everyone stays happy.