UFC’s new Venum uniform deal gives fighters a slight pay rise
Fighters will receive a slight pay rise as part of the UFC’s new uniform deal with Venum.
UFC 260 on March 27 was the final event in UFC outfitting policy with Reebok. From April 1, the UFC’s official uniform partner will be martial arts brand Venum, UFC executive vice president and chief operating officer Lawrence Epstein told ESPN. The design of the new fight kits will be revealed next week and they will debut at UFC Fight Night on April 10.
Beginning with the Reebok contract in 2014, the UFC instituted what it calls “fight week performance pay.” This policy combines the equipment policy, promotional tasks and code of conduct for a bonus per fight in addition to a fighter’s purse. With the arrival of Venum, the Fight Week incentive pay will see an increase, albeit gradually. Epstein said the UFC will increase the pay scale by about $ 1 million per year.
Champions will now receive $ 42,000 per fight in Fight Week incentive pay, compared to $ 40,000 under Reebok. Title contenders will receive $ 32,000, compared to the old rate of $ 30,000. Fighters with 21 or more UFC fights receive $ 21,000, up from $ 20,000. Athletes with between 16 and 20 bouts will also see an increase of $ 1,000, from $ 15,000 to $ 16,000.
Entry-level fighters with between one and three UFC fights will now receive $ 4,000 compared to $ 3,500 previously. Athletes with four or five UFC fights also receive a $ 500 bump, from $ 4,000 to $ 4,500; athletes who have six to ten UFC fights will go from $ 5,000 to $ 6,000; and fighters with between 11 and 15 fights earn $ 11,000, compared to $ 10,000 under Reebok.
Epstein said that “essentially” the full value of the Venum contract would go to the fighters.
“It’s not a profit center for us,” Epstein said. “Whether it’s cash at the door or its product, we deliver it to the athletes. Essentially, all the value is theirs. We’re not doing anything about it. We feel the look and feel of the product. itself is great for the UFC brand, but when it comes to cash, everything goes to the athletes, whether it’s real money or product. “
The outfitting policy was controversial when it was instituted seven years ago. Before the UFC and Reebok signed a deal, fighters wore all their gear with their own sponsors during fight week and inside the Octagon. It disappeared in 2014 with Reebok. Fighters were no longer allowed to wear the logos or clothing of their own sponsors during fight week and in competition, resulting in six-figure losses per fight for some popular fighters. This policy will not change under Venum.
Epstein said the UFC encourages corporate sponsors such as Monster Energy to enter into a direct sponsorship deal with athletes, and said fighters are “free to enter into sponsorship for things unrelated to the fight week.” .
The UFC has every right to unilaterally change its policies. UFC fighters are not unionized and do not have a collective agreement, so they do not have a say in the revenue shared with them when it comes to sponsors, unlike most other great athletes. sportsmen.
Sources told ESPN last year that the Venum deal was not as lucrative as the one with Reebok, which was $ 70 million over six years. The $ 70 million was not entirely in cash; it also incorporated the value of products that fighters were getting for free. Epstein said the UFC’s deal with Venum was for “about three years.” Reebok will remain in a relationship with the UFC as a partner of the shoe.
As good as the Reebok product was, Venum took it up a notch with just the build quality [and] thinking about how our athletes will use the products, ”said Epstein.