The UFC deal with Reebok is coming to an end at the end of this year, it’s about time! A deal that was never really good for the fighters, but did some good for the organization in a sense is finally coming to an end. I’ve spoken with a few UFC athletes and they are overjoyed that in 2021 there will be a new apparel company and possibly a better split of revenue for them under the new deal with the new outfitter.
UFC President Dana White spoke of the 3 front runners to replace the apparel company as the official outfitter of the UFC.
Nike, Under Armour, and Venum are all in the mix.
Nike is the official apparel company of the NFL, MLB, and the NBA. The UFC went into the deal with Reebok to help legitimize itself as a major sports league, so to me signing with Nike makes the most sense. Their swoosh logo is known worldwide and they are without a doubt the largest sports apparel company on the planet earth.
With the UFC partnering up with ESPN, the largest and most well-known sports network on the planet, and the UFC’s claim as the largest mixed martial arts promotion on the planet, this deal truly seems inevitable.
Under Armour is a gigantic apparel company, but their ties are linked to college sports as they don’t have any deals with any major league sporting organization in the world. They could be working some magic to get the UFC deal, but I’m not sure if the fit would be right for either organization.
Under Armour is very well known, but I don’t think that financially they are in the same league as Nike, which says to me that in spite of whatever effort they’re making, they will not be able to counter offer what Nike can give to the UFC financially, and promotionally as well.
Venum has a long history in the sport of mixed martial arts, but I was honestly surprised when Dana White mentioned them as a possible suitor to be the new apparel company for the UFC. I don’t think their reach is broad enough, and since they really aren’t involved in any other major league sports or college sports for that matter, while there may be a nostalgic cry from the fan base to use this company, I don’t see them being selected as the official outfitter of the UFC.
Also, just like Under Armour, they do not have the financial standing to outbid Nike nor will their branding provide more than Nike or even Under Armour can. They are a niche brand, and In my opinion, this would be a huge step backward for the promotion to use them as their official apparel company.
Who will get the contract?
Christopher James has been in the MMA industry for 15 years, Working as a ring announcer for promotions like the XFC, Island Fights, Combat Night and Fight Nights Global during his career. Chris’ love for the sport and the athletes that partake in it led him to writing and doing face to face interviews with the athletes he admired and respected. Chris isn’t conventional by any stretch of the imagination, he has his own style, and takes pride in not being a “cookie-cutter” member of the media. Unique and sometimes controversial takes are what he brings to the table, forcing folks to think a little differently about the world of MMA. He also has a love for music as he has been a dj for 25 years and his love for music gets brought to the MMA world when he gets his guests to sing on his weekly show Cage Side with Christopher James which can be seen Wednesday nights on FACEBOOK LIVE, and soon via podcast.