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Putting a price on fame

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aznteabagger

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Would Anderson Silva be jumping for joy if he knew the UFC controlled his merchandising rights -- even after he left the organization?

In a fast-growing sport where fighters can generate ever-larger sums through endorsements, licensing and usage of their image, a struggle is under way over control and ownership of those rights in mixed martial arts' biggest organization. The battle between Zuffa LLC, parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and UFC fighters to control these intellectual properties has become a topic of contentious debate.



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Post #1   8/1/08 1:48:10PM   

mrsmiley

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It will be intersting to see how the whole merchandising deal plays out if a fighter like Anderson left the UFC.

Post #2   8/1/08 3:01:22PM   

MMAcca

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He would still be able to use his own image.

Just none of the stuff produced while he was under contract with Zuffa

Post #3   8/2/08 5:09:19AM   

EliasG

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Not necessarily. The UFC would be able to put out merch with his face/likeness AFTER he left the UFC and make money off of it, even if it competed or took money away from similary merchandise licensed by Silva himself.

One thing you nEVER want to do is give away your licensing or merchandising rights when it is your name/likeness that has value. What that does is strip a fighter down to only endorsements and their fights as a way to make money. It's great for the company and not good for the fighter.

Merch is a HUGE way to make money. Even a fighter with a lesser name fighting in local venues can pull in an additional 500-1000 a fight through merchandise if they are smart and hustle. Brian Warner (Unbreakable Gym) is able to pull that kind of money in at small venues--it's just smart. If someone else owned the rights to merch using his likeness/name that is a nother revenue stream he'd lose AND UFC could claim infringement or breech of contract if they wanted to.

Post #4   8/2/08 10:26:36AM