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21 Humans Who Make Being Human Look Really, Really Hard

Tag: sponsorship money

Rant of the Day: Nate Quarry Says the UFC ‘Cares Nothing About the Fighters’


(Quarry slugs it out with Jorge Rivera during his final Octagon appearance in March 2010. / Photo via MMAWeekly)

For five years, Nate Quarry was a reliable and entertaining presence in the UFC’s middleweight division. He fought through some incredible brawls, gave us a few laughs, and most of his fights ended in satisfyingly violent fashion, for better or worse.

Quarry retired from MMA two years ago on his own terms. There was no contract dispute, no falling out with the UFC top brass. The TUF 1 veteran stepped away quietly and respectfully, due to concerns about his own health and future. He had no axe to grind.

But on a recent UG thread about the UFC’s upcoming fighter uniforms, Quarry couldn’t hold his tongue any longer, and wrote out a long post about his own experiences with sponsorships during his time in the UFC, and the cold, impersonal way he was treated by the promotion. Whether or not you think the UFC has any obligation to support its fighters beyond their contracted fight-purses, Quarry’s note is worth reading in its entirety. Check it out below, and let us know what you think.

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“When I signed with the UFC this is what I was told:

We can’t pay you much but you can have any sponsors you want.

Then: We need to approve your sponsors.

Then: You can’t have any conflicting sponsors.

Then: You can’t thank your sponsors after fights.

Then: We are not approving any sponsors that we don’t like their product.

Then: Your sponsors have to pay us a fee of $50,000 for the pleasure to sponsor you.

Then: Your sponsors have to pay us a fee of $100,000 for the pleasure to sponsor you.

If a sponsor has a budget of 10k to sponsor a fighter, they are then out. If there are 5 shorts companies in the UFC you can only go to them for a sponsorship. If they have spent their budget or don’t want to support an up and coming fighter they give you shorts instead of money. If you’re fighting for $6,000 to show and fighting 3 times a year, even $500 makes a big difference. When there is no competition they don’t have to pay you. I lost And1 as a sponsor when the UFC enacted the tax.

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UFC Reportedly Loses ‘Huge’ New Sponsorship After Online Poker Indictments

(“I survived the Full Tilt Poker bust and all I got was this crappy jacket.” Too soon? Pic: WSOP.com)

The federal indictments lobbed at three top poker websites late last week – including noted fight sponsor Full Tilt Poker – continue to cause a troubling ripple effect in the MMA world, new reports indicate. You may have already seen the stories over the weekend about how much the sudden absence of such poker site dough may or may not adversely affect the bottom line of individual fighters, but notable sports business reporter Darren Rovell (who works a lot on ESPN) now says the charges against Full Tilt also mean the loss of an important upcoming deal for the UFC.

“The UFC had a huge new sponsorship deal on the table with Full Tilt that will now go out the window with the feds bust,” Rovell tweeted on Monday afternoon. This came on the heels of a story from MMA Junkie quoting agent Ken Pavia saying the poker shutdown “will severely impact fighters’ sponsor revenue, which traditionally matched their show pay for our televised clients.”

So yeah, any time big sponsors drop out (or get indicted) and their money gets taken out of the pockets of fighters and the coffers of the only important company left in the industry, we have to do the Dennis Hopper voice again: Bad things, man. For those of you who may have actually gone outside or done things with friends/family over the weekend, a short recap of the story and some reflection on what it might mean for MMA are after the jump.

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Pitch a Winner: How to Land an MMA Sponsorship (Without Embarrassing Yourself)

Ben Rothwell extenze UFC
(Attention, fighters: Don’t let this happen to you.)

By Kelly Crigger

You might know me. I’m a sponsor. I get an email every other day from a manager (usually a fighter’s brother whose only business experience is a checkbook management class) asking me to sponsor someone. Sometimes I get a gem that’s professional and treats the situation exactly as it is — a product pitch. But too many times requests are so poorly written that they’re embarrassing and I don’t give them a second thought. Why? Because MMA is a young sport full of young people who have no business sense, and until that changes, fighters are going to miss out on sponsorship opportunities.

When asking for money, managers must answer one basic question — why should I give you money? It has to be a watertight pitch that describes the product (the fighter) and gives me no reason to say no. Unfortunately this is rare and more than one email has been relegated to my trash file. If you don’t want it to be you, follow a few simple rules:

– First off, a sponsor and a fighter need to be the right fit. A staunchly Catholic fighter who’s offended by pre-marital sex shouldn’t be sponsored by Condom Depot, and Ranger Up only sponsors fighters with a military background. Do your research so you’re not wasting my time and yours.

– Don’t wait until the last minute. Contacting me three days before a fight says you lack the foresight to plan ahead. That doesn’t instill me with the confidence that you’ll take care of my brand. Two weeks before a fight is okay. Three weeks is better.

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