Okay, I was stuck at an end of the year parent/teacher conference and missed the announcement. But thanks to the power of IM and texting, I received five different accounts of what went down.
My first reaction is, it’s about time the UFC started coming up with a better plan of attack for merchandising. However, it remains to be seen if action figures can be a viable revenue stream for a sport that is almost completely-adult.
Now, some kids just love to play with cool looking action figures, so I’m sure they will get some sales that way and possibly start appealing a little more to a younger demographic. But people only have so much money to spend on Christmas gifts and if it comes down to a choice of action figures, the WWE will always win out because kids like good guys and bad guys and they like larger than life characters.
Of course, the UFC will also sell some figures to adults because some people just love to collect stuff. But I just don’t think we’re going to see strong sales for the action figures.
My question is, will this force the UFC to change the way they do business? I mean, if you’re selling an action figure in the likeness of Rampage Jackson, Rampage better see some cheddar on the back end of that deal. Randy Couture had major issues with his likeness being used in the “UFC Tapout” video game and him not getting additional compensation. In other sports, the player’s unions go to war over the likeness rights. As it stands now, in most sports, as a part of the collective bargaining agreement, the players get a nice lump sum check with all their residuals from sales involving their likeness.
Now, this brings us to Thursday. Apparently Dana denied every major accusation out there. Well guess what? I still believe it is a network TV deal even though he denied it. You cannot rule out the possibility of a smokescreen. If he offered even the slightest hint, he’d ruin the surprise.