Thinking Outside the Ring: Reebok’s UFC Affiliates

Thinking Outside the Ring: Reebok’s UFC Affiliates

Reebok_ufc_650x250Photo Credit: Reebok.com

Ultimate Fighting Championship fighters, Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey and “The Notorious” Connor McGregor not only pack a big punch in the Octagon, but their solid fan base also makes them heavyweight brand ambassadors and affiliates for Reebok.

In 2014, Reebok and UFC announced that they were joining forces in a groundbreaking six-year partnership, with Reebok becoming the exclusive outfitter and apparel provider for the UFC.

The Reebok/UFC apparel line, which includes exclusive “Fight Week” gear, “Fight Night kit” as well as UFC fan gear, was developed in conjunction with UFC and its athletes.

Both the athletes and Reebok promote their apparel lines and gear via their individual websites, by wearing them during their fights and, in the cases of Rousey and McGregor, through their Reebok Storefronts.

Storefronts allow retailers to offer products directly from the website of another group. The storefront is co-branded, which helps drive extra sales for the merchant.

On Rousey’s site (www.rondarousey.net), for example, she has a “shop” button that sends visitors to her Reebok storefront, which displays her branded products. Through that channel, the Reebok-Rousey team are able to sell her Reebok-branded products and track what market her visitors are coming from.

RondaRousey

One savvy strategy that Reebok implemented to promote both their athlete and ignite their affiliate channel is to structure a promotion around an upcoming event.

For example, before Rousey’s big fight against Bethe “Pitbull” Correia, Reebok sent out a newsletter to their affiliates letting them know that they’d receive increased commission on all Ronda Rousey gear during a certain time period. This not only got affiliates excited about telling their readers about Rousey’s Reebok-branded products, it also increased awareness of her fight.

In addition to their athlete affiliates, Reebok also has NC Fit Gym (formerly NorCal CrossFit) as an affiliate. These types of partnerships demonstrate that the perception of who an affiliate is/can be is changing.

While content creators, coupon sites and loyalty partners are still valuable partners to many brands, in today’s affiliate marketing landscape, it’s important for brands to note that effective affiliate partners can also be:

  • Mobile and app companies
  • Schools
  • Non-profits
  • Brick and mortar stores
  • Brand ambassadors

Interested in exploring new partnerships and strategies within your affiliate program? Reach out to our team!