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SBD/September 20, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship
Jon Jones Inks Deal With Gatorade As He Tries To Approach Mayweather's Marketability Level
Published September 20, 2013
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A BIG DEAL FOR JONES: MMATORCH.com's Jamie Penick noted UFC fighter Georges St-Pierre "had been with Gatorade Canada a couple of years ago, but that wasn't an international deal and he didn't have Gatorade as a sponsor in the cage." Penick: "This is another big deal for Jones, and with his endorsement/sponsorship deals, he's quite well on his way to becoming one of the highest paid fighters in the sport, if he's not there already. He doesn't quite make the same on pay-per-view as Georges St-Pierre yet, as he hasn't been that level of a draw to this point, but he's getting there, and this is an impressive and major acquisition by Kawa for the young Champ" (MMATORCH.com, 9/19). Kawa "refuses to accept credit for where the reigning champion is today." Kawa: "The props go out to Jon; he did everything he needed to do to get this deal and he's sponsored by Gatorade for this fight" (MMAJUNKIE.com, 9/19).
MAYWEATHER STATUS IS NEXT: YAHOO SPORTS' Kevin Iole wrote Jones is considered the "best pound-for-pound fighter in the world," and the "next big challenge for Jones will be duplicating Floyd Mayweather's path in boxing and becoming a transcendent, larger-than-life figure in the sport." Jones is the "best fighter but hardly the biggest star in his sport," as he "lags in recognition, acceptance and star power compared to Mayweather." Kawa "conceded that Jones isn't at Mayweather's level from a marketing and promotional standpoint yet, but he pleaded for time." Kawa: "A lot of it has to do with the fact the sport's not as old and as established like boxing; the sport itself isn't there yet, so it's hard for one athlete to do that. The Fox deal is helping tremendously. That's bringing MMA into the mainstream and it's going to help take this to the next level." Iole noted Jones' popularity in a way is "intertwined with the UFC's success, which is why Kawa is so bullish on its broadcast deal with Fox." The deal with Fox is "making it easier for fighters to land major sponsors and giving those potential sponsors a bit of peace of mind about what they're getting into." Meanwhile, Jones "will be featured soon in a spread in GQ" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 9/19). Jones said, "I aspire to be at the level of guys like LeBron James and some of these bigger-name athletes in the world" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 9/20).