Billion-Dollar UFC Enters Merchandising in Big Way: Good Deal For Fighters? | The Official Blog of the MMAFA
Marketing Rights Agreement Highlights
· In exchange for granting Zuffa the Merchandise Rights, a fighter is entitled to (i) ten percent (10%) of gross revenue for sales of Licensed Merchandise completed by Zuffa, and (ii) twenty percent (20%) of gross revenue for royalties and/or license payments received from third parties.
· The Agreement grants Zuffa an exclusive license prohibiting even the sale of autographed photographs!
· The Agreement operates to strip even the fighter himself of the opportunity to profit on his own Identity in the marketplace. Not only are fighters being asked to sign an agreement that grants likeness rights to Zuffa on a worldwide, exclusive basis (to the exclusion, incredibly, of even the fighter himself), the term of the Agreement is forever.
· The term of the Agreement lasts forever, and the Marketing Rights for fighter are held by Zuffa even after a fighter is cut!
· The Agreement requires a fighter to make up to Six (6) appearances per year, and each of the appearances may be required of the fighter for no additional compensation.
· The Agreement contains no audit rights which would provide a mechanism for a fighter to enforce the terms of the Agreement and to verify payments are fair.
· The Agreement enables Zuffa to divert royalty and licensing payments by shifting income that could be classified as a license or royalty fee entitling a fighter to payment, into a payment that is Zuffa’s income alone.
· The Agreement requires a fighter to warrant that all permissions have been obtained to utilize third party marks and copyrights.
· The Agreement does not offer any royalty or license payments for video games and DVDs.
· The Agreement prohibits a fighter from not only using Licensed Marks of Zuffa, but also mere words alone!
· The Agreement, in short, is absurd for fighters, and drastically impacts their marketing and revenue producing ability throughout, and even after their athletic careers.
full article here
The full Merchandising Agreement Zuffa is passing sounds largely like an indentured servant contract. When will we, as fans and fighters, no longer tolerate such obvious detriments to our beloved sport?
If anyone has a chance to read this, please do, and let me know your thoughts.