UFC Tweaks Reebok Sponsorship Structure

The UFC has altered it’s tiered Reebok outfitting sponsorship, according to a document setting promotional guidelines sent out to the entire roster.

The previous seven-tier structure now has an eighth added to it. Fighters with three or fewer fights in the UFC will receive $3,500 under the new guidelines, while those with four or five fights receive $5,000.

Previously, the structure based on the number of UFC fights consisted of seven tiers ranging from $2,500 to $40,000 per fight. Fighters falling in both of the altered tiers were under one, with fighters in it making $2,500 per appearance.

This change to the company’s policy will be beneficial to newcomers to the UFC. In fact, UFC Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Epstein tells ESPN that half of the UFC’s roster falls into one of those two categories under the new system.

“This gives the shorter-tenured fighters on our roster an increase,” Epstein said. “We felt this was the most impactful, meaningful way to get more money to our athletes.”

The UFC signed a six-year sponsorship deal with Reebok in 2015, making it the only sponsor a fighter can wear during fights. Many of the UFC’s athletes have been critical of the deal, and it was a point of interest several complained about during the UFC’s retreat this past summer.

“We always want to hear from the athletes,” Epstein said. “I know we’re trying to do the right thing every day in the UFC. Our heart is in the right place. Listening to the athletes is a big part of that, and part of the changes we’re making today are a reflection of that.”

Other changes in the company’s promotional guidelines include requiring athletes to provide four days of “advance” media promotions, six hours of “fight week” promotion and one hour of “postfight” promotion. Fighters competing in main or co-main events of UFC cards are also required to allow UFC camera access eight days prior to a fight. And the UFC can request a one-day, eight-hour commercial shoot twice per year with an athlete.

According to Epstein, the UFC reviews company guidelines on a regular basis.

“Nothing is set in stone,” Epstein said. “We’ve made these changes and there is certainly a possibility of things changing in the future.”

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