Dana White appeared on CNBC’s “Power Lunch” to make a big announcement…not “the” big announcement, but a
big announcement nonetheless.
White announced that the UFC has signed a four-year licensing agreement with JAKKS Pacific, Inc. The company will produce action figures and other UFC collectible products, including role-play items based on current and classic fighters which should be available Fall of 2009.
“We just closed a deal with JAKKS and these are going to be available next Christmas,” said Dana White. “These are collectibles. Am I saying kids won’t play with them? No. I’m sure kids will play with them. There’s an Octagon and accessories and all kinds of things kids will play with.”
The UFC has been involved in a flurry of activity around merchandising as of late. The company recently announced merchandising deals with Bic lighters, Silver Buffalo, and JC Penney. In fact, JC Penney has agreed to create “UFC Hot Zones” this August to pimp out young men’s shirts and headwear. US Bank has even jumped on board and will be launching a UFC Visa card which will allow members to earn points for UFC merchandise.
“The companies see the future of this sport and the loyalty of the fanbase, and the potential for enormous growth,” said Randy Klein, the UFC’s Vice President of Licensing and Merchandising. “They see this taking over boxing and they can’t get over how recognizable these athletes are. You can’t even name five boxers now and that sport has really changed from the days of Ali and Tyson. So to the companies, they see working with the UFC as a tremendous opportunity to get involved with an emerging sport, mixed martial arts.”