UFC, Crypto.com partner on uniform branding

The UFC has sold the branding rights to the uniforms worn by fighters in the Octagon, in what sources told ESPN is a long-term deal valued in the low nine figures over the length of the contract.

The UFC on Wednesday morning announced a partnership with Crypto.com as the promotion’s “official fight kit partner.” The cryptocurrency platform will have its logo on all fighter walkout and in-cage gear — the first time the UFC has sold the global rights to that position. The sponsorship deal begins Saturday at UFC 264 in Las Vegas, which is headlined by Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor 3.

It is one of the most lucrative sponsorship deals the UFC has ever pulled off, sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.

The UFC declined to comment on questions regarding the value of the contract.

“This is a partnership between two companies that are the best at what they do,” UFC president Dana White said in a news release. “No company has done more to grow the popularity of combat sports than UFC, and now we’re one of the biggest sports brands on the planet. We can help Crypto.com reach more people around the world through the strength of our brand.”

Crypto.com also will get a logo inside the Octagon during pay-per-view events and White’s Contender Series cards, as well as further integration across the UFC’s many verticals.

Fighters will not get a direct cut of the UFC’s deal with Crypto.com, a source said. However, they will be able to broker individual deals with the cryptocurrency company and be used as paid brand ambassadors. UFC fighters are not unionized and have no collective bargaining agreement, so they are not entitled to a share of the revenue on these types of deals.

The UFC fight kits are produced by Venum, the promotion’s outfitting sponsor since April. Prior to 2014 when the UFC debuted its first outfitting deal with Reebok, fighters were able to wear their own sponsored gear in the Octagon with logos of brands that sponsored them individually.

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