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Volume 24 No. 117
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Reebok Rolling Out More Wearable, Lifestyle-Oriented UFC Uniform

After two years in business together, the UFC and Reebok have “learned some hard lessons, trying to fit the unwieldy sport into the type of uniform template common in other sports,” according to Jack Encarnacao of the BOSTON HERALD. Reebok rolled out a “re-imagined apparel line prior to UFC 215 earlier this month.” The company “swapped out a soccer jersey look to one more wearable and lifestyle-oriented, and is video conferencing with top fighters” from its Canton, Mass., HQ to “collaborate on custom designs for walkout gear.” Reebok Dir of Combat Training Business Unit and UFC Partnership Matt Bilodeau said, “It has been a learning process, and a lot of what we’ve done over the last two years is really tried to ingrain ourselves in the culture.” He said that fighters “wanted gear that had less of a sleek, athletic look, and could be worn casually.” Prior to the Reebok deal, MMA apparel was “mostly characterized by Tapout and Affliction shirts that could be worn anywhere -- and were aimed just as much at spectators as those who train.” Bilodeau said, “We feel like this collection has a lot more attitude, and the style really is born from MMA culture.” Encarnacao noted there are reportedly four years left on the UFC/Reebok deal, and the company is “looking to make steady adjustments until it fits seamlessly into the UFC” (BOSTON HERALD, 9/18).