If you’ve followed the MMA scene on the Internet for the last couple of years, you’ve heard all the gossip and innuendo about the trouble that Xyience, UFC’s primary sponsor, allegedly has been in. Well, today, another shoe dropped as Amp’d Mobile filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The New York Times has more on the story.
I point this story out because one of the knocks against UFC in the American corporate media (primarily from CNBC’s Darren Rovell) is that UFC (and MMA in general) has not been able to attract the major blue-chip sponsors. This was also a claim that insiders leveled against PRIDE (which had many non-traditional or non-blue chip companies sponsoring their events). What made the criticism against PRIDE in terms of sponsors interesting is that Japan is home to the world’s largest ad agency, Dentsu. Plus, PRIDE had many free-to-air television events on Fuji TV.
The two other major sponsors currently for UFC are Toyo Tires and Mickey’s malt liquor.