As was reported yesterday on this and many other sites, Jon Jones will be wearing the Gatorade logo into the cage Saturday night at UFC 165 when he takes on Alexander Gustafsson. Jones will be the first fighter to ever sport the Gatorade logo inside the cage, an impressive claim to be sure.
However, ESPN's Darren Rovell is making it clear that it is not a paid sponsorship, Jones is being allowed to wear the logo, but is not being paid for it:
Despite reports that Jon Jones has signed a Gatorade deal, Gatorade official says there is no contract, no $ changing hands.— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) September 20, 2013
Gatorade official says company has sent product to Jon Jones, will allow him to wear logo, but not paying him $— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) September 20, 2013
There could be any number of reasons for this from both sides. Gatorade may not see the value yet in sponsoring a UFC fighter with serious dollars. Maybe Malki Kawa (Jones' Manager) and Jones feel this is a good way to start building toward a paid sponsorship in the future. Whatever the reason, a Gatorade representative telling a trusted ESPN reporter that this is not a paid sponsorship pretty much ends any of that talk.
Or does it?
Don't believe everything you hear...— malki kawa (@malkikawa) September 20, 2013
No...but really, it does.
UPDATE: Rovell issued a pair of follow up tweets:
Jon Jones’ 1-fight deal with Gatorade does involve some compensation. He is not wearing their logo for free.— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) September 20, 2013
Gatorade does not do standard one offs like Jones, but are clearly seeking to test waters.— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) September 20, 2013