UFC Unveils New Promotional Guidelines, Including Change To Pay Structure For Outfits
The UFC sent a 17-page document to its entire roster of fighters on Friday, and it included the promotion's "latest standards for promotional responsibilities and outfitting," according to Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com. Likely to catch athletes' attention is an "alteration to the payment structure of the outfitting policy," which went into effect in '15 after the UFC "signed a six-year deal with Reebok." The previous structure was "based on number of UFC fights, and consisted of seven tiers ranging from $2,500 to $40,000 per fight." Under the new policy, an eighth tier has been "added that will benefit UFC newcomers." Fighters with "three or fewer appearances in the UFC will receive $3,500 per fight to comply with the new guidelines." Those with "four or five appearances will make $5,000." Previously, both of those categories were "included in one tier, worth $2,500." The official partnership with Reebok has been a "source of discontent for many UFC athletes, as it eliminated their ability to sign individual sponsors to be worn inside the Octagon during fights." Some UFC athletes have been "openly critical of the deal." At the time of the Reebok deal, UFC Senior Exec VP & COO Lawrence Epstein said that the UFC "knew it would rely on 'kit sponsorships' as well -- packages in which a sponsor pays to appear on a UFC uniform, and sponsors individual athletes as well." Epstein admitted that in the "first three years of the deal, the UFC hasn't signed as many kit sponsors as it planned, but there's still optimism that will be an additional revenue stream for the company and athletes alike" (ESPN.com, 12/22).