After signing a six-year sponsorship deal in December 2014 with the UFC, the fight organization is moving on from Reebok.
Today, the UFC announced that combat sports apparel and accessory brand Venum will become its new exclusive global outfitting and apparel partner starting in 2021. The fight promotion said its existing partnership with Reebok expires in March 2021 and that the brand will continue to be the UFC footwear provider through the end of next calendar year.
In a statement, UFC said its athletes will wear the Venum-designed fight kits inside the octagon in April 2021. Also, Venum will make apparel fan available that will be available in stores as well as online via UFCStore.com, UFCStore.eu, UFCStore.com.au and Venum.com.
“Venum is an Iconic combat sports brand that understands the unique needs of MMA athletes,” UFC president Dana White said in a statement. “[Venum founder and CEO] Franck Dupuis and his team at Venum have the technical knowledge and experience that will produce world-class UFC Fight Kits and apparel. We’re looking forward to collaborating with them on this next evolution of UFC’s outfitting program.”
White also said in a statement, “We appreciate the partnership with Reebok over the past six years. It was a groundbreaking deal that elevated both of our brands. We’re pleased that Reebok will continue with us as the official footwear provider of UFC through 2021.”
Additionally, the UFC stated its outfitting policy is administered through its Promotional Guidelines Compliance program and the pay scale will be adjusted based on its Promotional Guidelines Compliance program. The result of this, according to UFC, is increases for all athletes effective April 2021.
Reebok signed its sponsorship deal with UFC in December 2014. As part of the sponsorship, the athletic brand provided footwear and apparel to athletes and their teams for all fight-week events and created a collection of gear for fans and people who engage in combat training.
Recently, Reebok came under fire for its athlete pay practices. Late last month, fighter Sean O’Malley said on an episode of “Food Truck Diaries” — hosted by comedian and former UFC fighter Brendan Schaub — that Reebok makes millions of dollars off of his gear and he only makes thousands.
In an email sent to FN, Reebok responded to O’Malley’s royalties claims. “Royalties paid out on sales of co-branded UFC and Reebok merchandise are dictated by the contract between the individual fighter and the UFC,” the brand said in an email to FN.