(“Ya wanna know what comes between me and moy new Reebok compression tights? Nuttin’. / Photo via TheNotoriousMMA)
Yesterday, BleacherReport’s Jeremy Botter got his hands on the UFC’s new Athlete Outfitting Policy, which was sent to the managers of every fighter currently on the UFC roster. The document explains how Reebok-branded gear will be incorporated into the appearances of UFC fighters, and what will be required of the fighters and their cornermen when the Reebok uniform deal officially kicks off in July.
While the Athlete Outfitting Policy provides no hard details on how much fighters will be paid, it does sketch out what the UFC/Reebok partnership will look like from a logistical standpoint. Here are a few key details we pulled from the Bleacher Report article:
1. Fighters will have at least some input on how their gear looks. Like, they’ll get to choose colors and stuff.
“Beginning with this weekend’s Boston card, the promotion will hold mandatory ‘informational sessions’ with each fighter participating on the card that will detail the program and answer any questions they may have. They’ll also begin working with each fighter to develop styles for their individual merchandise…
Fighters ranked in the UFC’s official rankings will be the first to pick the color of their products. For a bout between two ranked fighters, the higher ranked fighter receives first selection; the lower-ranked fighter is required to pick a contrasting color. Unranked fighters will work with matchmakers to select a color.”
2. The UFC now has “equipment managers.”
“The newly created UFC Equipment Department is overseen by Ember Morr, vice president of Consumer Products…The new UFC Equipment Department will have a team stationed at each fight card. The positions are as follows: equipment director, three equipment managers and an equipment coordinator. The responsibilities of these new positions are not specified in the document.”
3. The UFC wants its fighters to wear Reebok gear during all official appearances, not just during fights.
“Upon arriving in the host city and checking in with Zuffa officials, each fighter will be issued Reebok products to wear for open workouts, media day, weigh-ins and press conferences. This product handout will include: a gym bag, a hoodie, a T-shirt, workout shorts, weigh-in shorts, weigh-in walkout sweatpants, a weigh-in T-shirt, weigh-in walkout hoodie, a weigh-in hat, underwear, socks and shoes. Female fighters will also receive sports bras…
For press conferences, fighters are allowed to wear Reebok/UFC apparel, or they may opt to wear business or business casual attire with no visible logos or trademarks…
In addition to all fight week-related activities, fighters must also wear Reebok apparel for any UFC-produced show. This includes (but is not limited to): Road to the Octagon, UFC Embedded, UFC Tonight, UFC Countdown, Ultimate Insider and The Ultimate Fighter.”
4. Of course, there are penalties for non-compliance and lost merchandise.
“Each fighter’s corner people are also required to wear Reebok material, and they will receive the gear upon check-in. If a fighter’s corner refuses to wear the product, their fighter will be subject to ‘penalties, fines and may be removed from the fight’…
Fighters are responsible for replacement costs for lost merchandise. If a fighter does not wear the merchandise, they will be subject to penalties ranging from monetary fines all the way to being removed from the fight. Each penalty will be based on the individual infraction.”
5. Beats by Dre are not allowed.
“If a fighter elects to wear headphones, they must be Octagon by Monster headphones.”
6. This whole thing is just a scheme to sell fighter-worn gear.
“After each fight, the fighter is required to select one piece of their official walkout gear—the product they physically wore to the Octagon (not including underwear*)—and return it to the UFC equipment manager. This could include the hoodie, hat, shorts or anything else worn during the walkout. This portion of the policy leads one to believe the UFC will ramp up its efforts to begin selling ‘fight-worn’ gear from each fighter.”
* Question: Will Felice Herrig still be able to sell her underwear independently?
7. A fighter’s contracted salary will play a factor in how much sponsorship revenue he or she earns.
“The document states that ‘fighters are paid for complying with the policy. Fighters are paid by the UFC within 10 business days of their fight. Fighters are paid based on the UFC fighter pay scale and their official ranking at the time of weigh-in’.”
8. No, not “every penny” will go to the fighters.
“‘The UFC is distributing the vast majority of the revenue received from this partnership to the athletes,’ the document says. A percentage of all sales of Reebok gear will be donated to Fight for Peace, a nonprofit organization ‘which combines boxing & martial arts with education and personal development in communities affected by crime and violence’.”
9. Buh-bye, banners.
“The Athlete Outfitting Policy also means the end of in-cage sponsor banners.”
Read more at BleacherReport. If we ever find out how much the fighters will actually be paid from this deal, we’ll let you know.