The Ultimate Fighting Championship mixed martial arts organisation has named combat sports brand Venum as its new exclusive global outfitting and apparel partner, starting in April 2021.
The deal was brokered by IMG’s licensing business, which exclusively represents UFC. IMG is owned by the Endeavor group, which was also the lead investor in a group that acquired UFC in 2016.
Launched in France in 2005, Venum is a designer, marketer, and distributor of combat sports apparel and accessories, and replaces adidas-owned sports brand Reebok in the role. Reebok, however, will continue to serve as the official footwear provider of UFC through the end of 2021.
The current Reebok deal is understood to be worth a total of $70m over six years, from mid-2015 to March 2021, with annual fixed payments that increase each year and a revenue share with the UFC on apparel sold.
The deal initially upset the world of MMA because it took away the right for UFC fighters to sell sponsorship on their uniforms during UFC fights. Instead, fighters received payment according to their fighting grade from the Reebok pool.
As part of the new deal, UFC will adjust the pay scale tied to its outfitting policy which will result in across the board increases for all athletes effective April 2021.
Commenting on the fit between the two organisations, UFC president Dana White said Venum is an “iconic combat sports brand that understands the unique needs of MMA athletes”.
Franck Dupuis, Venum founder and chief executive, said the agreement “signifies the success of our journey over the past fifteen years”.
Venum will debut the new UFC Fight Kits inside the Octagon in April 2021. Venum-designed apparel will also be made available for sale at retail outlets around the world and online via UFC platforms and venum.com.
Yesterday (Thursday), it was announced international betting and technology platform Parimatch had renewed its regional deal with the UFC organisation until the end of 2021.
Parimatch will continue in the role of official betting and wagering partner of UFC for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region in a move to increase its share of the MMA betting market.