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Why has UFC had so many problems with corporate sponsors?

By Zach Arnold | March 23, 2009

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A company that clearly dominates it sector in the sport of MMA has had a volatile record over the past several years with corporate sponsors. From the whole Xyience debacle, to Amp’d Mobile going out to business, to Mickey’s (the official malt liquor of UFC, at one time anyways), to Affliction which has led to the war between the two camps, and to now having problems with Full Tilt Poker.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 11 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

11 Responses to “Why has UFC had so many problems with corporate sponsors?”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    A lot of MMA companies almost give away their sponsor spots on the mats. Remember the IFL? People made such a ug deal about the XBOX 360 being on there, only to find out they were basically getting no money for it.

    I think it’s something that will change with time. I can only assume Zuffa thinks they deserve huge sponsorship money, and these companies, who don’t understand MMA, can’t fathom why the demands are so high.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    Looks like it is SpikeTV that is having the issue.

  3. Dave says:

    God, what is next, CondomDepot no longer allowed on fighters’ asses?

  4. samscaff says:

    How exactly did IFL “basically get no money” for putting an XBOX logo on the mat??

    I vaguely remember this issue but can somebody remind me?

  5. 45 Huddle says:

    It wasn’t much of an issue. The IFL had the XBOX 360 logo on their mat, and a bunch of internet fans made a huge deal about how the IFL could get big time sponsors like Microsoft, and Zuffa couldn’t. I think some of it was fueled by the IFL owners talking about how they made things more friendly for sponsors.

    Then, there financials came out, and under the section for revenues from advertisers (I forget the exact name of the category), it was nearly nothing.

    The IFL was basically giving away their mat space to APPEAR to be more important then they are.

    Makes me wonder what Afflictions actual books are like.

    Anyways, back to this topic…. If SpikeTV is in fact the one’s having the issue with this, there is little Zuffa can do. They kind of have to play nice.

  6. Fugitive says:

    MMApayout updated the story:

    “It appears as if UltimateBet’s sister site, Absolute Poker, will be part of this deal, although we’re awaiting confirmation. The real shame here is the UFC is screwing over its fighters yet again. Full Tilt was spending good money on sponsorships, and limiting the competition does them no favors.

    “If the UFC does decide to cast it’s lot with UB/Absolute Poker, it would seem to be a case of Xyience Redux, with the fight company pairing itself in the public eye with a company of dubious reputation.

    “Whether it be UB or Absolute Poker… both were the subject of an investigation by 60 Minutes…”

  7. Zach Arnold says:

    Full Tilt Poker is not going anyway from their business any time soon (compare their situation to that currently of the World Poker Tour company), so I’m curious why this is happening.

    Does this mean we’ll now get Phil Hellmuth doing commentary on Spike TV shows?

  8. Speaking of Poker, Randall Oser, a World Poker Tour player, is one of the Xyience shareholders who got screwed by the Fertittas bankrupting the company.


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