This week, Brian “The All-American” Stann offered his take on the controversial deal that the UFC has made with Reebok in The Three Amigos Podcast.
According to the current UFC commentator and former WEC champion, who received a Silver Star in his days in Afghanistan with the US Marines, the situation with sponsors may not be what you think — and the Reebok deal will ultimately benefit the UFC’s athletes.
“I retired right as the sponsorship market really started to collapse, so I got lucky and made great money off of sponsors,” he explained, as transcribed by Steph Daniels at Bloody Elbow. “I had an appearance-heavy schedule. When I would fight, the very next month after, I was doing a lot of public speaking appearances, commercial shoots and event appearances for my sponsors. That’s how my manager, Robert Roveta, got really creative.”
But, he admits, those days are done.
“Some of my deals were coming to an end, and it didn’t sound like they were going to renew them when I got out,” he says. “That was when the market really started to dry up, and I’ve heard it’s gotten worse.”
The reliability of the Reebok money is another positive Stann sees.
“60% of the fighters that I have spoken to, told me the Reebok deal was better for them,” Stann said. “I was really surprised to hear that. I thought lots of guys were going to be upset. I talked to Ryan LaFlare on our podcast last week, and he said for his fight with Demian Maia, he was main event, and his total sponsorships were $12,000. He’s only been paid 3 grand of that so far… these guys are getting stiffed an awful lot, which is a shame.”
“I made $15K a month in endorsements alone; I wish I made that now,” he reflected. “That’s great money, but none of those companies paid out that money because their logo was on my butt… What they gave me that money for was social media posts, appearances over the course of the year, doing commercials, doing radio tour interviews, doing Youtube videos, being a brand ambassador for their company.”
Mr Stann was interviewed last year at Caged Insider in a two part interview, covering such topics as the PED problems in MMA and the organization he founded to help returning US veterans find work. Parts One and Two are archived.