Global fitness leader Reebok today announced a groundbreaking partnership with UFC, the world’s leading mixed martial arts organization. Under the long-term deal, Reebok will become the exclusive authentic global outfitter of UFC, creating for the first time ever UFC ‘Fight Week gear’ and a ‘Fight Night kit’ for all UFC athletes. Reebok will also be the exclusive apparel provider for the millions of UFC fans around the world.
UFC officially announces partnership with Reebok
In addition to benefiting UFC athletes and fans, the Reebok and UFC alliance also has a significant charitable component. Starting in 2015, a percentage of sales from Reebok/UFC product will directly benefit Fight for Peace, an international NGO that uses boxing and martial arts, combined with education and personal development, to realize the potential of young people in communities that suffer from crime and violence.
“This partnership is much more than a licensing agreement,” said Matt O’Toole, President, Reebok. “It is a true collaboration between two great brands, which will not only give UFC a new and exciting look, but it will harness the global reach of both brands to also benefit young people around the world, particularly those at risk of being involved in crime and violence.”
“Together with Reebok we are changing the landscape of MMA,” said Lorenzo Fertitta, UFC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Working with another global brand with such a strong history in training and fitness will deliver long-term value for UFC athletes and their brands by elevating and further professionalizing the events and the sport. Every UFC athlete will benefit from high quality performance apparel specifically developed, tested and produced for MMA athletes. Never before has the sport had a global athletic footwear and apparel brand committed to investing so much in the research and development of products specifically for MMA.”
The Reebok/UFC apparel line, including the ‘Fight Week gear,’ ‘Fight Night kit,’ and UFC fan gear, will be developed in conjunction with UFC and its athletes, including current Reebok athletes UFC Welterweight Champion Johny Hendricks and UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis. In addition, UFC athletes will be helping Reebok to develop a new fight training-specific apparel collection.
“Not only is Mixed Martial Arts one of the fastest growing sports in the world, it is also one of the most challenging in terms of the dedication to training, overall fitness level and mental and physical toughness required. And nowhere is this on display more than in the UFC Octagon,”said O’Toole. “This partnership not only further cements Reebok as the leading fitness brand in the industry, it will also help us reach a wider audience and become the brand of choice for the more than 35 million consumers worldwide who use disciplines like boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts to live a fit lifestyle.”
Partnership to Benefit Fight for Peace
Last week, at Fight for Peace’s Academy in London, Reebok announced its long-term commitment to Fight for Peace, which was founded in 2000 byLuke Dowdney MBE,a former amateur boxer and British light-middleweight Universities champion, as well as the acquisition of LUTA Sportswear, an authentic boxing and MMA brand, also founded by Dowdney to help support Fight for Peace’s mission.
“Our partnership with Reebok is incredibly exciting for Fight for Peace and its future and Reebok entering into this long-term deal with the UFC will magnify the positive impact and reach of this partnership,” said Dowdney. “Reebok and Fight for Peace have a shared belief in the power of fitness – and specifically fight training – and the impact it can have on young people’s lives, particularly those who are impacted by crime and violence. Today’s announcement between Reebok and the UFC will help us continue to build international awareness for the Fight for Peace mission, allowing us to reach even more at risk young people globally.”
Below is the full FAQ from UFC.com.
1. Why is UFC implementing this new policy?
UFC has partnered with Reebok, a major global footwear and sports apparel brand, to create a unique, iconic and consistent look for our athletes, reflective of their dedication, athletic superiority and determination. This partnership will create long-term value for UFC athletes and their brands by elevating and further professionalizing the events and the sport in general. This is another major step in UFC’s maniacal pursuit of excellence.
2. When will this new policy start?
The new policy will start the week of July 6, 2015, which coincides with International Fight Week (IFW) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
3. How does this benefit the athletes?
The new policy will provide several benefits to the athletes, including but not limited to:
a. Associating every athlete with a global athletic footwear and apparel brand
b. High quality performance apparel specifically developed, tested and produced for MMA athletes
c. Elevating the visual identity of UFC athletes to be on par with other global mainstream sports
d. A guaranteed income for each fight, eliminating the burden of seeking sponsors on a per event basis
e. The opportunity to generate royalty income from the new athlete-specific products created through this program
4. When will athletes’ sponsors no longer be permitted to have exposure on athlete apparel?
Athletes’ sponsors will no longer be permitted to have exposure on athlete apparel during UFC fight week official events including fight night, UFC produced content or other official UFC events beginning the week of July 6, 2015, which coincides with International Fight Week (IFW) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
5. Are athletes’ sponsors permitted during UFC fight week official events including fight night, UFC produced content, and other official UFC events?
Athlete sponsors are not permitted during UFC fight week official events including fight night, UFC produced content, or other official UFC events. Athletes can retain their existing sponsors, however those sponsors are no longer permitted to have exposure within UFC fight week official events including fight night, UFC produced content, or other official UFC events.
6. Can athletes continue to have sponsors outside of official events?
Yes, athletes can have apparel and non-apparel sponsors outside of UFC fight week official events including fight night, UFC produced content, or other official UFC events. Existing or prospective apparel and non-apparel sponsors can use the athlete’s name and likeness, but may not use UFC trademarks unless they have a direct commercial relationship with UFC.
7. Will sponsor banners be permitted for the walkout and inside the Octagon?
Sponsor banners will no longer be permitted for the walkout or inside the Octagon beginning with the UFC event on July 11, 2015, which coincides with International Fight Week (IFW) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
8. How will athletes get their fight night product kit and fight week gear bag?
The UFC equipment team will distribute the fight night product kit and fight week gear bag. The fight night product kit will be provided to the athletes upon arrival at the event venue on the day of the fight. All other fight week product will be provided upon check-in at the UFC office at the host hotel. New fight week gear bags and fight night product kits will be provided to all athletes and their corners for each fight week.
9. Will the fight night product kit have options for the athletes?
Yes, there will be options on product styles, colors and fight night short silhouettes including board shorts, vale tudos and skorts which will be selected in advance of fight week.
10. What will corners have to wear?
Corners will also be provided fight week and fight night gear and will be required to comply with the outfitting policy. For additional information please refer to the 2015 UFC Athlete Outfitting Policy.
11. What if an athlete’s shorts need to be altered or don’t fit properly?
The UFC equipment team will work with the athletes to gather proper measurements, and will have the capability to alter fight shorts prior to fight week.
12. Who will be at the events to manage the outfitting and work with the athletes?
A team of UFC equipment managers will coordinate all athletes’ and corners’ outfitting during fight week.
13. What pieces are included in the fight night product kit and fight week gear bag?
Fight night product kit for male fighters:
a. Fight shorts
b. Fight gloves
c. Walk-out jersey
d. Walk-out hoodie
Fight night product kit for female fighters:
a. Fight shorts or skort
b. Sports bra (long length available)
c. Fight gloves
d. Walk-out jersey and/or tank top
e. Walk-out hoodie
Fight week gear bag for male fighters:
b. Tops, tees, fleece
Fight week gear bag for female fighters:
b. Tops, tees, fleece
d. Sports bra (long length available)
14. Which fight week events will require official gear?
Every UFC fight week event will require official gear. This includes, but is not limited to the events listed below. The official gear requirements are further detailed in the 2015 UFC Athlete Outfitting Policy.
a. Open workout
b. Ultimate Media Day
c. Press conferences
e. Fight night, including walkout and in Octagon
f. Other official UFC events
15. Can athletes wear a suit to the UFC Press Conferences?
Yes, athletes may wear suits and other business casual apparel for the UFC Press Conferences as long as the product is unbranded and there are no visible logos, trademarks, commercially identifiable patterns and designs or distinct visual DNA.
16. What happens if athletes don’t wear the required apparel provided by the UFC?
Athletes are required to comply with the 2015 UFC Outfitting Policy. While we anticipate full compliance with the new outfitting policy, please refer to the 2015 UFC Athlete Outfitting Policy and UFC Fighter Conduct Policy regarding any non-compliance.
17. What does the outfitting product look like?
The outfitting product will be unveiled in the spring of 2015.
18. What are athletes required to wear for UFC-produced content and features? Does this include equipment?
Yes, athletes will be required to wear official UFC gear as outlined in the new 2015 UFC Athlete Outfitting Policy. This includes, but is not limited to apparel, footwear, accessories and gloves.
19. Has the product been developed specifically for MMA?
Yes, the product has been specifically developed, tested and produced for mixed martial arts athletes. UFC athletes have collaborated, and will continue to have a voice, in on-going product development.
20. Can athletes and corners keep their fight night product kit and fight week gear after each fight?
Yes, both the athletes and the corners may keep their product after each fight. Each athlete will be asked to select and return one piece of apparel (shorts, hoodie or shirt) worn during the walkout or fight to the UFC equipment team. UFC will utilize the one fight worn item for charity donations, auctions, and memorabilia sales. Athletes will receive royalty payments pursuant to the individual athlete’s merchandise rights agreement for any applicable memorabilia sale proceeds.
21. Will athletes be compensated under the 2015 UFC Athlete Outfitting Policy?
Yes, athletes will be compensated. The athlete outfitting compensation is a tiered system based on each athlete’s ranking at the time of the weigh-in, irrespective of broadcast type and placement on the fight card.
22. When will athletes get paid under the 2015 UFC Athlete Outfitting Policy?
Athletes will be paid by UFC within 10 business days after their fight, subject to confirmation of their compliance with the 2015 UFC Athlete Outfitting Policy.
23. How much money will UFC be making on this new partnership?
UFC will be distributing the vast majority of the revenue received from this partnership to the athletes. UFC is investing in this platform to create long-term value in the brand and its athletes.
24. What is Fight for Peace?
Fight for Peace is a non-profit organization, which combines boxing & martial arts with education and personal development in communities affected by crime and violence. Fight for Peace was founded in 2000 with the aim of providing an alternative to the armed violence and drug trafficking that can affect young residents in favelas in Rio de Janeiro. In November 2007 the Fight for Peace London Academy was established in the borough of Newham. Fight for Peace supports 2,500 young people each year and is now advising a network of charities across the world on how to make similar frontline projects work successfully.
25. How is the UFC involved with Fight for Peace?
A percentage of all Reebok/UFC product sales will be donated to Fight for Peace. In addition both Reebok and the UFC are working with Fight for Peace on future projects. One of our first objectives is to establish a larger presence for Fight for Peace in the US and open a gym here that matches the amazing projects in London and Rio.
26. Who can athletes contact with additional questions?
For additional questions, athletes should refer to the contact information listed in the 2015 UFC Athlete Outfitting Policy.
UFC will be conducting mandatory informational sessions at event host hotels between January and July 2015 for all athletes. Managers and corners are welcome to attend. These sessions will also be used by the equipment team to gather all necessary measurements and outfitting specifications.