UFC: Sean O’Malley To Start Selling His Own Merchandise & Marijuana
Sean O’Malley is one of the UFC’s fastest rising stars. The bantamweight prospect has captured the attention of MMA fans and is coming off two first-round knockout wins against Jose ‘Teco’ Quiñonez at UFC 248 and Eddie Wineland at UFC 250.
Despite his success inside the Octagon, O’Malley does not seem to be getting the level of compensation he thinks he deserves from UFC partner brand, Reebok. Recently, ‘Sugar’ opened up about the limited pay he receives from sales of merchandise with his name on it.
O’Malley spoke to MMA Fighting about his issues with the popular clothing company.
“I didn’t even know it got blown up until my dad said ‘Did you see that article?’ and I said no and he said something. I didn’t know it blew up.
“The whole Reebok thing is insane. I think it was back-to-back years that it was over a million dollars [of merchandise sold]. I know one year for sure, I don’t want to say anything that’s not true but I have it in my emails, I think it was back-to-back years they did over a million dollars with the shirts and whatever else they sell on Reebok and I got $3,000 and $5,000 I think for those. Absolutely insane.”
Following O’Malley’s recent comments, Reebok issued a statement indicating that “royalties paid out on sales of co-branded UFC and Reebok merchandise are dictated by the contract between the individual fighter and the UFC.”
Therefore, the brand omits any responsibility regarding fighter compensation for the merchandise sold. This, however, did not stop O’Malley from raising his voice on the matter.
“People are always like ‘I love the Reebok shirts, where can I get them?’ I’m like don’t [buy them]. I ain’t getting s*** from them,” O’Malley said.
While O’Malley won’t be receiving any increase in sales compensation any time soon, the 25 year old is currently attempting to open his own merchandise line. This way, the Montana-born fighter will not only enjoy higher revenue percentages but also have control over the apparel’s designs.
“We’re dropping my own merch line soon and I think it’s going to be fun,” O’Malley said. “That’s something I’ve always wanted to do, too, get into the ‘Suga’ brand, the clothing, and I think it’s slowly going to build like any business and be something really cool.”
Developing his merchandise brand is not the only business venture O’Malley is pursuing. ‘Suga’ is also working on releasing his own marijuana strain which he appropriately named ‘The Suga Strain’.
“I’ve done the ‘Suga’ strain before but we just didn’t do it right,” O’Malley explained. “We didn’t have the right people to build that but I think we’re coming out with the ‘Suga’ strain that’s going to be all around the world. That was my issue with the last one. It was only in California. We couldn’t get it out of California so it didn’t do as good. But I think we’re about to get in with a ‘Suga’ strain in the next couple of months, maybe a little bit longer.
“But I think that’s going to be my whiskey business like Conor. I think that’s going to do the best. So we’re getting into all the industries.”
O’Malley seems to be enjoying his business projects outside of the Octagon. With his stock on the rise, ‘Sugar’ is looking to cash in on his recent popularity rise.
Despite being involved in various business endeavours, O’Malley remains focused on what made him popular in the first place: fighting. ‘Sugar’ assures fans that he’s as committed as ever to his training regimen and combat preparations.
“It’s all fun,” O’Malley said. “But nothing takes away from the training. In my mind, I know what I need to do and that’s be in the gym, be consistent, do what I’ve been doing that’s got me here and keep doing that. Keep winning fights because then like I said, everything else goes up.”
This is not the first instance a fighter has complained about the Reebok deal being non-profitable for the athletes. Not only is pay minimal, but any chance for sponsors inside the cage has been completely nullified.
It is certainly refreshing to watch a young athlete like O’Malley pursue his own business affairs. We can only hope that other fighters emulate this behavior for the sake of their financial wellbeing.
What do you think about Sean O’Malley’s new business ventures?