UFC Ditches Reebok For A New Outfitting Partner And It Might Have Been A Huge Opportunity Cost

Reebok has been the exclusive outfitting partner for the UFC for the last six years. The world’s premier mixed martial arts organization announced that it will have a new brand starting in 2021.

VENUM is the world’s leading designer, marketer and distributor of combat sports apparel and accessories. UFC fighters will debut the new VENUM Fight Kits starting in April of 2021. The deal came as surprise to UFC fans and insiders. President Dana White is excited about the new partnership and the opportunities it will present in the future. “We’re pumped that VENUM will be joining us as our new exclusive global outfitting and apparel partner,” said UFC President Dana White.  “VENUM is an Iconic combat sports brand that understands the unique needs of MMA athletes.  Franck Dupuis and his team at VENUM have the technical knowledge and experience that will produce world-class UFC Fight Kits and apparel.  We’re looking forward to collaborating with them on this next evolution of UFC’s outfitting program.” On the other hand, others worry the deal may have been a missed opportunity.

There are basically two schools of thought on the matter. VENUM controls the market for fight gear and manufactures a top-of-the-line product. Another positive is that many UFC fighters already have a relationship with them. Rapport is very important in business and marketing. Also VENUM will reportedly be able to pay the fighters more than Reebok. That’s a win/win for fighters and the UFC organization. However, VENUM as a clothing line is not as mainstream as its competitors and will have little appeal to people who aren’t UFC fans.

I will say that VENUM has a high-level understanding of the UFC and the world of MMA. On the contrary, there are several other companies with a brand that is appealing outside the realm of combat sports. I’m not a big UFC fan, but I must admit the VENUM logo is pretty sick. I would rock the threads for that reason alone but also because it’s a brand you don’t see too many others sporting. But I tend to be a bit of a hipster in that regard. I don’t think the deal is a bad thing for UFC, but it feels like more of a win for VENUM. It’s definitely a double-edged sword, but we shall see how it turns out for Dana White and the UFC organization.

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