Chris Camozzi: Hold the line - DON'T take cheap sponsorships


UFC middleweight Chris Camozzi, who fights Nick Ring on the main card at UFC 158, has some vital things to say about sponsorship. In the past, sponsorship done correctly could roughly equal the purse. However, the economic landscape in the sport has changed dramatically.

So what is a fighter to do?

Camozzi has a plan - DON'T lower the bar. He won't.

Never Selling Out But Always For Sale

I do not know about the rest of the guys in the sport but my road to the UFC is full of broken bones and a lot of blood sweat and tears.  As UFC 158 is upon us I am on the cusp of achieving my dream of fighting on one of the biggest cards of the year.

So that must mean a huge financial windfall right?  I mean it is UFC 158, a GSP card, no one is a bigger draw than GSP.  The sponsors must have lined up to be a part of this golden opportunity, right? 


Not when so many other fighters and managers in the sport are selling the same opportunity for a fraction of what it is worth. 

Don’t worry I am not going to call out anyone in particular for lowering the bar; it was lowered long before UFC 158. PPV walkout tees have gone from a big payday for fighters to essentially non-existent. The fighters do not seem to care about how little they make and it seems like managers don’t either when it comes to sponsorship. This used to be such a big part of the sport. Maybe it is because they did not work as hard as me to get here, or maybe it is because they do not work as hard as me for the sponsors outside of the Octagon. Whatever the reason, things have gone from bad to worse and I won't contribute.

I won’t lower the bar.

Fighters and Managers want to talk about how unionizing the sport is what’s needed. Truth is they are just being lazy and want rules and third parties to set a baseline that they should be working to increase at every opportunity. What product has been commoditized faster than the UFC athlete sponsorship? Even just a couple years ago it was very possible to earn $10K for your walkout shirt alone being featured on the UFC main card. Yet in 2013 I turned down offers that were in the $3K range for my walkout shirt.  You can’t lower the bar and expect better, you can’t be willing to accept less while demanding more.

How is a guy that is complaining about sponsors going to say he turned down money?

I am not complaining about sponsors, I have some great sponsors. I am saying that the fighters that are allowing the bar to be lowered are doing the sport a great disservice.  The UFC is one of the biggest names in the sports world, and you could not buy 30 seconds on your LOCAL cable network for the same price some of my peers are selling sponsorships for. You couldn’t afford to take any executive out to lunch in LA for what some of my peers are selling sponsorships for.

Everyone bitches about fighter pay, yet if it wasn’t for the pay from the promotion fighters would be broke. Yet the sponsors depend on us fans. The UFC built the popularity, built the platform and allows us to sell ourselves from the platform. 

So for the rest of you guys and all of you who are on your way up, stop diminishing the value of reaching the top.  We have a lot to be proud of, the UFC is a HUGE platform that exudes value. Just say no and watch the sponsors pay more. I did. 

I will take the first stand. 

I left money on the table, money I need. I did it for you, will you do it for me? Stop lowering the bar, these brands need to be in these events. They paid five to seven figures for PERMISSION to advertise on us, shouldn’t the ads be worth more? If permission is worth $15,000 per fighter, then the actual ad is worth what?

Thank you to my sponsors Revgear, Triumph United, Muscle Pharm, Hatebreed,, InstaLoans, MGR Construction, Alienware and Fulmer Helmets.

Thank you to my gym Factory X Muay Thai and my management team at Ingrained Media.

Also a big shout out to Frank Edge and Frank's Fight!

- Chris

Read entire blog...
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Camozzi also ran into problems with his choice of walkout song by sponsor Hatebreed.

Chris Camozzi @ChrisCamozzi
Unfortunately I had to cover the @hatebreed logos on my shirt and banner. Not my choice. Sorry guys. Waiting to see if music is approved

Reidy Reidy ‏@ReidyMMA
What song? Destroy Everything? :)

Chris Camozzi @ChrisCamozzi
they aren't letting me use Hatebreed from what I understand

Reidy Reidy ‏@ReidyMMA
That's lame. Is that Hatebreed's decision or @ufc's?

Chris Lewis Chris Lewis ‏@714southcharles
That's wrong I've only heard of them saying no to a song once. They allow "High Hopes" for goodness sake!

Ingrained Media ‏@IngrainedMedia
@ChrisCamozzi may not be able to walkout to the music or support the band he wants at #UFC 158, there is no denying support from @hatebreed

Chris Camozzi ‏@ChrisCamozzi
It's always a funny feeling on fight day, no matter what I do today, I'm getting punched in the face tonight lol

Follow Chris Camozzi Twitter...
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Last Summer a CNN article mistakenly accused Hatebreed of being a white power band. Hatebreed is not a white power band, and has disavowed any racist sentiments. The band took pointed issue with CNN's inclusion of their name on a list of white power bands. CNN became aware of the false nature of the charge, removed Hatebreed's name from the piece, and expressed public regret for the error.

However, damage was apparently done.


tags: UFC 158   Chris Camozzi (detail)  


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Recent Comments »

Ingrained Media site profile image  

3/20/13 11:41 AM by Ingrained Media

The results have value, so saturation, tax etc can't really be offset by the value. Here is a case study from a under $5000.00 spendThe brand had 159 Twitter Followers. They have since grown to 725 Followers. This is a 355% increase in growth over the period of less than 30 days.The brand on Facebook had 1,724 Likes and 10 people 'Talking About This'. They have since grown to 2,898 Likes. Their 'Talking About This' which are engaged fans has grown from 10 to 1,235. This is a 68% increase in Likes and a 12,250% increase in engagement. In addition, the reach of the page was 1,548 and has since grown to 19,006. This is a 1,127% increase in Reach as well.Overall the Camozzi push created measurable growth, of which 355% was in Twitter Followers, 68% in Facebook Likes, 12,250% in Facebook engagement and 1,127% in Facebook reach. They were featured in several blogs, they were featured on Camozzi's gear for UFC 158.The platform is amazing and there is value here. Not if you slap a logo on and send an invoice but if you have a plan the athletes can have an impact.

camozzi site profile image  

3/18/13 5:08 PM by camozzi

Well Jason is my manager and we have had many conversations on the matter. LOL maybe his blogs actually sound like mine! JK we share the same views on stuff and though I feel like i write decent my grammar sucks and we both share the same editor. Tell Jason not to copy me haha

Uncle Creepy's Creepy Nephew site profile image  

3/16/13 6:39 PM by Uncle Creepy's Creepy Nephew

Thanks very much for the input Mr Patrick and that is some shady shit by the sponsor.

fightharder site profile image  

3/16/13 6:35 PM by fightharder

That such bullshit. Back in the day,when the Zuffa tried to launch there own metal record label,we had to listen to all the aweful crappy metal bands.   And now when fighters want to use some decent metal songs there getting fucking denied. Why the fuck didn't they approve Pantera? And why did Dana say no to Dethklok?I really do not see how Dethklok should be worse than Rage against the Machine. They send out a much less appealing message to corporate sponsors then anything by Dethklok or Pantera.   The UFC should really stop with restricting people in there music choices. I understand that the  want to ban songs that are discriminatory. But apart from that its really just silly to ban any music.

fightharder site profile image  

3/16/13 6:31 PM by fightharder

Are there really less people watching though?   GSP does sort of the same numbers on PPV constantly. But you also get much more mainstream media coverage in MMA programs,shows that show clips of the fight and there is more internet exposure as well. And doesn't being shown on Fox count for something?   Sorry but it absolutely amazes me that the UFC seems to attract almost no decent sponsors yet and fighters having an extremely hard time getting decent sponsorship deals. The UFC is a product that scores amazingly with a certain demo. Yet companies that make products for these demo do not really sponsor  individual fighters that much at all.   And the lack of blue chip firms getting involved is a little startling as well. It might be a different economy but profits with US companies are still very high. Plus economically thinks are getting a bit more rosy.   You would have thought that with a move to Fox they would attract more mature sponsor deals. You would also imagine that we the part owners being from the United Arab Emirates you would get some more structural sponsorships from that region. I am personally rather amazed by how little progress is being made on this front.

PrettyBoy site profile image  

3/16/13 5:52 PM by PrettyBoy

This reads very much like Jason Genet's blogs.

Culinary Union Delegate site profile image  

3/16/13 4:42 PM by Culinary Union Delegate

Forrest with dropkick Murphys Dana said no to Dethklok Chuck got stuck with DMX when he wanted Pantera

Don_Dada site profile image  

3/16/13 4:03 PM by Don_Dada

Zuffa care, they like control. They force Urijah to come out to California Love, don't let him change his music. Same with Bones, wanted to change his song and they made him use Empire State of Mind. There's other examples but those two come to mind first.

Claude Patrick site profile image  

3/16/13 4:00 PM by Claude Patrick

TRUE STORY WITH NAMES LEFT OUT TO SAVE SOME PEOPLES FACE :)aight so ive made it to the promised land UFC.. SHIT im in the UFC.. THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY...coming up you hear these stories 30k sponsorships per fight 10 k per logo for shorts!!! Damn i was pumped right up bout to get finally start getting paid :)flash forward to the event and i dunno i came in withno where near that and heard the stories of "oh you just missed those days now nobody paying " im like ok whatever im here to fight and i do have this "big name sponsor" so ill be staight either getting all my stuff presented to me and these the nerve to come to me with 500 dollars!!!!! 500 dollars for a UFC fight??? I said NO HELL NO.. take that back right manager at the time was like "oh claude its already printed the shorts are done we cant change it..."I was so shocked these guys had the nerve to come at any competitor with that type of number i do what to them was unthinkable and said you know what im Wearing a blank tshirt in the walkout and wear the short since its done BUT YOU KEEP THE MONEY.. id rather do it for free than disrespect my craft taking 500 dollars in "sponsorship" at this levellong story short i won the fight and they magically came up with a decent number to pay me post fightwhen guys lower the bar it hurts everyoneman up fellas tell em to go home with those bogus offersclaude patrickp.stongightgsp wins via kicks and cutshendricks via dominant clinch work an ground controlmarquart vs size and possible submission

Phil Cornelius site profile image  

3/16/13 3:57 PM by Phil Cornelius

People would be so much better at what they do if money wasn't always the focus.