UFC in Talks with Reebok; Hendricks and Varner Partner with Company as Well
Sporting apparel company Reebok appears to be the latest major brand to get into business with mixed martial arts and may soon find a home inside the Octagon as well.
Reebok, who sponsors several major sports stars including Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning along with his younger brother Eli Manning, will begin to dabble in MMA with partnerships recently developed with two UFC competitors.
UFC welterweight contender Johny Hendricks and lightweight fighter Jamie Varner will kick off a new partnership with the company starting on May 18 with the two fighters participating in Spartan Race in Texas.
Spartan Race is an outdoor obstacle course that the two fighters will compete in against one another with Reebok serving as a sponsor for the UFC competitors.
The extent of the deal with Reebok regarding Hendricks and Varner is unknown at this time.
In addition to working with Hendricks and Varner, Reebok is currently in negotiations with the UFC on a major endorsement deal as well.
UFC president Dana White revealed last weekend following the conclusion of UFC 159 that the company was flying to Boston to meet with executives from Reebok on a potentially large deal.
"Yep, we're going in and talking to Reebok about some big, big s—t," White stated when speaking to Bleacher Report over the weekend.
No deal between the UFC and Reebok has been announced as of yet, but if negotiations go well the sporting apparel and shoe company could add mixed martial arts to their growing resume of sports leagues that they work with currently.
Reebok has been a major player and manufacturer for NFL uniforms as well as replica uniforms sold to the public, while also working with the NHL and are the official shoe supplier to Major League Baseball.
The UFC has never had a major shoe or sporting apparel company on board as a sponsor, but this new deal could be a landmark endorsement for the promotion.
Over the last several years the UFC has worked out deals with several blue-chip sponsors including Bud Light and Harley-Davidson, and Reebok would be a huge addition to their roster of endorsement deals.
No details have been released yet if the meetings held on Monday led to any deals being worked out, but information could be forthcoming at any time.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted
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