Random Rant: Knee-jerk reaction to CNBC announcement

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.

12 COMMENTS
  • Jim says:

    Well, as you’re talking about how Rampage better see his cheddar for his action figure, maybe it’s some sort of collective revenue-sharing with the fighters signed to contract? If the UFC went to a structure significantly more similar to a major sports franchise (such as the NFL or NBA) rather than the boxing model, that would certainly be a change that would rock the MMA world and no one saw coming. I mean, to be honest, I seriously doubt that this is it. But it’s something I haven’t seen anyone mention before at all, or even ask about.

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  • Mark Aulet says:

    Imagine Dana and co. choose to start a fighters union…. I said imagine!

    Sam I sent you an email yesterday with regards to George S. i’d like to know if you received it or not. Thanks in advance.

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  • KneeToTheFace says:

    That is a very good post #1. I have been skeptical about most of the rumors thus far, but I think your speculation might have some validity to it, especially having just read Adam Swift’s piece on the WWE/Zuffa situation. To share revenue with the fighters is not only something that makes Zuffa look good on its own, but it is something that will bring up numerous fighters who otherwise wouldn’t want to sign contracts with the UFC. I think that would help the Company’s growth significantly, and do some serious damage to other promotions. Also, it pushes for a WWE-esque business model – which allows for significant growth over the dying boxing model.

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  • D says:

    Randy (http://www.round5mma.com/product_info.php?products_id=1) and Rampage (http://www.round5mma.com/product_info.php?products_id=4) are seeing their own cheddar. ;) But yeah, fighters should definitely get a cut of the merchandise.

    If not full-blow unionization or revenue sharing, I’d at least like to see the big orgs offer group health insurance to contracted fighters.

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  • Big Fucking Deal ! Can they make an action figure of Dana White so we can punt him across the room. Can we just pretend the Mayweather room was true and call it a day. I’m sure that I am not the only one that would like to see him beat to a pulp.

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  • ILikePunch says:

    The announcement is the signing of Butterbean and he’s next in line forr the HW title !

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  • KneeToTheFace says:

    Dana is afraid of having action figures in his likeness be used against him as voodoo dolls.

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  • Fuhr says:

    Because Dana has NEVER said one thing to a person or sets of people and then the next day did the exact opposite…. purchase of Pride ringing a bell?

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  • Kogepan says:

    Maybe its not a NETWORK deal, but premium cable like HBO.

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  • Brent says:

    “Of course, the UFC will also sell some figures to adults because some people just love to collect stuff.”

    As long as they fit in my butt…

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  • NealTaflinger says:

    Don’t know how it works for the bigger names, but if you sign a TUF contract it includes likeness rights.

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  • Josh says:

    Does everyone already have HBO. I have the basic package with DISH and it doesnt come with HBO, and dont want to have to pay extra for it. I am sure others are in the same boat so I believe that a deal with ESPN or ABC would bring in more ratings.

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