SBD/January 24, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Fox Gets Both A-B, MillerCoors As Sponsors, Nearly Sold Out For UFC Broadcast

Sources said spots on Fox' UFC broadcast cost about $150,000
Fox said that it has "nearly sold out" Saturday's UFC on Fox 2 broadcast, managing to get rivals A-B and MillerCoors "to both stake out positions within the octagon," according to Jon Lafayette of BROADCASTING & CABLE. A-B, a "longtime backer of UFC, will be the presenting sponsor of all four live fight cards on Fox this year, beginning with the Jan. 28 event." Fox Cable Sports Exec VP/Ad Sales Todd Siegel said that A-B will also "present live fights on FX and Fuel." MillerCoors will "sponsor the 'Ultimate Fighter' reality series, which will air on FX." About half of the spots for Fox’ telecast were "bought by movie studios and video game makers." Sources said that spots on the broadcast "cost about $150,000." Siegel said that deals to "get a telecom and an auto company on board are imminent." A fast food sponsor is "expected in time for the spring bout on Fox" (BROADCASTINGANDCABLE.com, 1/23).

MONITORING SPONSORS: Fighter Rashad Evans said that the revenue stream from sponsors is "just as lucrative as the checks cut by the UFC." FOXSPORTS.com's A.J. Perez noted fighters "aren’t allowed to have conflicting sponsors in certain categories ... or if a company is out of ethical or moral boundaries." Glenn Robinson, who manages Evans and several other UFC fighters, said, "The UFC takes a close look at which sponsors they want to be associated with. They will look at every sponsor on that banner to make sure you’re not trying to sneak one past them that hasn’t been approved." Perez noted clothing and sports supplement companies "remain the two most popular sponsors of MMA athletes" (FOXSPORTS.com, 1/23).
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