In case you haven’t read it yet, UFC fighter Chris Camozzi posted a blog on his official website www.chriscamozzimma.com about not lowering the bar for taking less money for sponsorships, especially for walkout shirts. He didn’t blame the sponsors but he more or less blamed other managers and fighters for accepting less money and ruining it for the rest of the fighters and what sort of money is made for sponsorship’s.
He mentioned that at one point fighters could make upwards of $10,000 for just wearing a companies shirt for their fight and now his offers were around the $3,000 range. I actually agree more with the comment left by George Snyder more then Chris’ post and here is why.
While in fact Chris makes some good points he is also missing the true reason. At least the reason that I feel that’s the issue. To read the blog post by Chris, here is the link. http://chriscamozzimma.com/profiles/blogs/won-t-lower-the-bar-never-selling-out
Now, here is the response made by George Snyder to Chris’ post:
“Chris, I hear your frustration, but could it also have something to do with an over saturation of the sport?
Right now we are talking about around 36 UFC events alone. with 11 fights per event, that’s 770 walkouts. Outside of the truly name brand fighters like GSP, Anderson Silva, Jon Bones Jones and now Ronda Rousey, it has really diluted the brand.
And add in 450 fighters competing for those 770 slots, it makes building a name and a brand difficult. Then if we have 4 TUFs a year, all featuring fighters week after week, it makes it even harder.
So with that much competition for sponsors, I could see how fighters desperate for sponsors would be willing to take lower amounts.
All I can say is, don’t be like Nick Diaz and pay your taxes, keep building wins, and the sponsors will follow.”
I 100% agree with what George says and I will add to it as well. Not only is there almost 3 times of the amount of events going on per year and more fighters on the UFC roster then there has ever been but for fights that air on Fuel, FX, Facebook, etc they usually don’t show the walkouts which is the 2-3 minutes that these sponsors are paying for. So basically you just get the banner and after the fight when they announce the winner which total’s only about a minute or so. Now, I understand Chris was on the PPV but just because it was on a GSP card, doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s just one of at least 30 events that these companies have to distribute money over this year. Let’s just say one of these companies get’s 10% of those 770 slots and they are paying $10k per spot. That is $770,000 to be paid over the course of one year. And that’s not including the higher profile guys that get more than $10k to wear the apparel. I don’t think there are too many companies that can afford to dish out almost a a million dollars a year in sponsor money.
Also, let’s not forget the fact that the UFC charges 5 to 7 figures just so these companies have the ability to sponsor fighters. Who knows how long it takes them to recoup that money. In all honesty, I would be asking the UFC where my cut of those 5 to 7 figures are instead of blaming fighters and managers for lowering the bar.
And stating that these companies need these fighters is true but only to an extent. Unless your a top 10 fighter in your weight classes and fighting in big fights I don’t see the need of these companies paying $10k plus for you to wear their apparel. Especially when they can pay a top guy a lot more, create a custom shirt for them where it will be in the media, in countdown shows, etc. It also comes down to how marketable a fighter is. Because let’s face it, regardless of how talented you are, if you can’t market yourself, people just don’t really pay attention to you. It’s a shame, but it’s true.
So as George said, keep putting wins together, get in the media more, get more peoples attention and the money will come. In the mean time, fighters are still going to take whatever they can get from sponsors. Especially when their paydays are only $6,000 to show and hopefully $6,000 to win.