By Zach Arnold | June 6, 2007
By Zach Arnold
UFCMania.com announced that UFC has told Jon Fitch to cancel his sponsorship deal with UFCMania.com. If the facts in this story are true, it is an outrageous PR blunder on the part of Zuffa. UFCJunkie.com helped sponsor Sean Salmon and both parties in that deal did an excellent job with online coverage. If the UFC said no to the UFCMania.com sponsorship because the blogger has UFC in the title of his site, that would be incredibly backwards-thinking.
I hold no personal animus towards UFC at all. However, it’s stupid PR blunders, statements, and moves like this that really set the company up for loud and justified criticism.
The company cannot publicly on one hand claim that they pay their fighters a fair salary and then on the other hand, tell a fighter who makes a few thousand dollars per fight (and has to have a job at a bar to earn supplemental income) that he can’t have a certain sponsorship — especially if that sponsorship is for A FAN WEB SITE of your company and has no ties to internet gambling.
Not allowing a UFC fan web site to help sponsor a fighter for a couple of thousand dollars is beyond comprehension and it only serves to creates negative press attention. If the facts presented by UFCMania.com are true, then it’s a silly and petty business move by UFC. Why create an unnecessary firestorm? Is this move going to cost UFC money? Of course not. However, it’s just penny-wise and pound-foolish. If UFC doesn’t want Jon Fitch to have certain sponsors, then start paying him more money to fight or match whatever money he would normally get from his own sponsors.
I suppose UFC could get Jon Fitch a sponsorship deal with Amp’d Mobile…