How MMA Sponsorship Deals Work

For as long as any of us can remember, sports and sponsorship deals have gone hand in hand. Many NFL stadiums are renamed as part of naming rights packages with major companies, while soccer clubs in England have had sponsor’s logos on their jerseys since at least the 1970s.

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Sponsoring in the UFC

Canadian sport is rife with sponsorship deals, but in the modern era individual sportsmen also achieve hugely lucrative deals with their own backers and that is especially true of individual sports.

Some of the money in these sports comes from us of course, the bettors. Betting on MMA is now huge, while for many of us sports betting and online casinos such as Jackpotcity will always be inextricably linked. 

Casino sponsorship is also now popular within MMA, as major betting brands look to this sport to help increase their exposure by affiliating themselves with fighters.

If you want to get your daily fix on all things MMA then check out Severe MMA. In the meantime here’s more on how UFC sponsorship deals work.

Backing Can Be Tailored to the Fighter

Taken as a whole, UFC sponsors in 2020 were huge for the organization. But the answer to the question – can UFC fighters have sponsors – is definitely yes.

A great example of tailoring a sponsor to a fighter’s interest or reputation is that of Demetrious Johnson, known to regular Canadian MMA watcher as ‘Mighty Mouse’. Because of his specific well-known interests, Mighty Mouse became the only fighter to be sponsored by an iGaming company.

Johnson is a known gamer and so his deal with XBOX was unique, but now other fighters and other iGaming firms are jumping on the bandwagon and are happy to be linked with the sport.

Having company branding on a fighter is indeed tailored to them, but is also part of a wider UFC apparel deal which was struck by the organizers which goes into 2021.

UFC Fighters Can Be Sponsored by the Brand Itself

This may seem strange to Canadian sports lovers, but when you did deep into the reasons behind it then it makes sense.

While MMA is the sport, UFC is the championship and as such, it is a brand in itself which needs to be advertised. Fighters such as Jon Jones have been paraded pre-fight in UFC clothing, all branded up, meaning the organization itself sponsors its own fighters.

There is some risk attached to this of course when not all fighters were the UFC branding. If the fighter being backed loses, it could be hurtful to the brand.

But overall, this is clever sponsorship. How many people still don’t know what MMA is let alone the UFC? Some people are still discovering the sport and they do so via viral social media clips of great knockouts etc. Seeing the logo plastered all over a fighter’s clothing helps brand recognition and put some extra money in the competitor’s pocket.

Sponsoring the Octagon

If you look at the octagon as the fighters enter, it too is laden with big-money sponsorship. This helps to fund the sport, and in turn the fighters themselves who all get a piece of the pie.

Canadian UFC fighters such as Tanner Boser, Tim Hague, Misha Cirkunov and Jason MacDonald have all been able to benefit by the trickling effect that UFC sponsorship has.


Like any sport, MMA is dependent on funding. In the modern era, most of that money comes from TV rights and sponsorship which are of course hugely linked and right now, the UFC appears to be getting things right.

Severe MMA Staff

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