Reebok is getting in on the fight.
The Canton, Mass.-based athletic firm announced today that it has signed a six-year sponsorship deal with the UFC organization.
“Through this partnership, we believe we are making a landmark statement about the future of mixed martial arts,” said Reebok President Matt O’Toole at a press event in New York.
He was joined on stage by UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta and President Dana White, who pointed out that this marks their organization’s largest non-broadcast deal.
As part of the sponsorship, Reebok will be the official outfitter for UFC, providing footwear and apparel to pro athletes and their crews for all official fight-week events. Reebok will also create a collection of gear for fans and individuals training as fighters. A portion of proceeds from the UFC product will go toward Brazil-based nonprofit Fight for Peace.
According to Todd Krinsky, global VP of lifestyle and entertainment marketing for Reebok, the apparel collection will debut first, starting in July at UFC’s Fan Expo. Footwear will follow in 2016.
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Executives from Reebok and UFC noted that interest in the world of MMA is growing rapidly. UFC events are now broadcast in 129 countries and territories, to nearly 800 million households.
Krinsky also pointed out that of the 35 million people taking part in the sport, about 40 perfect are female.
“We think this [is a program] for both genders,” he said. “For us, it’s all about fitness and being where the customers are. Women are doing the activities. And you’d be surprised at who is watching the matches.”