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UFC’s new sponsorship deal with Logan Paul, KSI leads to goofy new names for red and blue corners

UFC is trying to monetize every inch of their Octagon.

KSI VS. Logan Paul 2 - Launch Press Conference Photo by Michael Tran/Getty Images

The UFC has a new “official global sports drink,” as they’ve just announced a sponsorship deal with PRIME, a brand founded by popular YouTubers and former boxing opponents Logan Paul and KSI.

The lucrative deal will replace Bodyarmor, which sponsorship ran for five years. According to a report from the Sports Business Journal, this PRIME deal would be for three years and worth “high-seven figures annually.”

The UFC, who has aggressively tried to monetize just about every inch of their Octagon, announced that they’ll also be including the PRIME brand in the “newly launched Octagon-shaped Cornermen Stool,” and will be renaming the red and blue corners as “PRIME Hydration Recovery Zones.”

The deal is set to start at UFC 284. It’ll be curious to see how they’ll play this out in broadcasts, and whether it’ll be the commentators or Bruce Buffer awkwardly introducing athletes fighting out of the “Red PRIME Hydration Recovery Zone.”

According to the press release, PRIME will also have “key brand placement” during UFC PPV weigh-ins that “highlights the importance of proper hydration.”

The new deal will run alongside UFC’s many other bankable sponsorships. In the beverage side alone, UFC has Monster Energy as their “official energy drink” and “official water,” Modelo as their “official beer,” Jose Cuervo as their “official tequila,” Howler Head as their “official flavored whiskey,” and Wildcard as their “official ready to drink vodka.”

It’s worth noting that the initial selling point for the UFC banning outside sponsorships in 2015 was so that fighters don’t look unprofessional or plastered with ads like NASCAR vehicles. In the end, the sponsorship market moved from paying fighters to mostly paying the UFC, who is now making bank while looking... well, like plastered NASCAR vehicles.

UFC now makes over a billion dollars a year, and is expected to keep growing. On the other hand, UFC fighters are estimated to get just around 17% of the revenue, which is in line with what the promotion themselves targeted to keep for years.

UFC’s sub-20% revenue share pales in comparison to the near 50% in other major sports leagues, and the even bigger share in boxing that go from around 60% to over 80%.

About the author: Anton Tabuena is the Managing Editor for Bloody Elbow. He’s been covering MMA and combat sports since 2009, and has also fought in MMA, Muay Thai and kickboxing. (full bio)

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