Sports apparel and fitness brand Reebok this week announced an official long-term partnership with the UFC.
Reebok will become the exclusive outfitter of the UFC, and the apparel provider for fans on a global scale. Until now, the UFC was the only large sport league in the U.S. not associated with a major brand. The deal will guarantee income for anyone who steps into the Octagon.
"We've always talked about a day where we'll go toe-toe-toe with all of other major sports out there," said Dana White, President of Zuffa, LLC, which owns the UFC. "This really was the last piece of the puzzle, aligning ourselves with a great sports apparel company."
In 2015, the UFC and Reebok will launch a major apparel line. In addition to the creation of UFC "Fight Week gear" and a "Fight Night" kit for all athletes, Reebok/UFC products will be specifically developed, tested and engineered for MMA training, fitness level and performance.
"The sport has evolved so much in the last 15 years, and now you're going to start to see the clothing evolve, for training and for fighting, in the way it has in football and all these other sports," White said.
The agreement represents a collaboration to reach a wider audience, to "harness the reach of both brands to benefit young people around the world," Reebok President Matt O'Toole said in the official press release.
A portion of sales from the Reebok/UFC line will go directly to international NGO Fight for Peace, which teaches boxing and martial arts and offers other educational and personal developmental opportunities to young kids in communities where they must endure frequent violence and crime.
"What is most exciting about this opportunity . . . is the chance to change the way people look at our sport, elevate our sport, and elevate our athletes," said Lorenzo Fertitta, UFC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock