How GSP made millions while injured

by Ben Fowlkes | source: mmajunkie
 

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Prior to his performance winning win over Erick Silva at UFC 153 last month, Jon Fitch had fought just once in 18 months, which left him woefully short of money, and concerned he would need a day job if he lost.

Despite a lifetime record that is the best in modern UFC history for any fighter who has never won a world championship, if Fitch had no fights, he had no money.

"The economy itself is slow," explained Fitch. "It's a lot harder to make money outside the UFC now, as far as sponsors and stuff go. The sponsors have kinda dried up. The appearances have almost dried up."

"You don't want to start doing appearances for like $500, and then everyone hears that, and they never offer you anything higher than that even if the economy comes back."

"If I still lived in Indiana, it wouldn't be such as much an issue, but I live in California, and it's expensive. Even the cost of food at the store is more expensive."

"If you're not fighting, you're not getting paid. It's not a comment in any way to pay scales or anything. It's just a simple fact: If you don't fight, you don't get paid."

As reported by MMAJunkie for USA Today, that is not the case with GSP. Due to a torn ACL in his right knee, prior to tomorrow night's showdown with Carlos Condit, GSP fought exactly zero times in the last 18 months. During that period he made millions.

Just in the last 12 months St-Pierre has signed lucrative endorsement deals with companies such as Coca-Cola, Google and Bacardi. He's got a deal with HarperCollins to write a book that he describes as part autobiography and part philosophy ("kind of like 'The Art of War,'" St-Pierre said). He's also renewed his apparel deal with Under Armour and signed one with noted MMA equipment manufacturer Hayabusa, all despite not setting foot in the UFC octagon since April of 2011.

St-Pierre currently has 14 endorsement deals with each paying him somewhere in the six-figure range. If you tally up the numbers from past and present deals, his income outside the cage is well into eight figures, with much of it coming in the past year alone.

"He's a superstar, and he was a superstar when we met him," said Mike Fonseca of Creative Artists Agency (CAA), which has represented St-Pierre for the past four years. "We just had to take him and figure out how we were going to market him."

"The first two years there were a lot of brands that wouldn't meet with us, wouldn't take our calls on this, and basically said, listen, we work with you on other clients, but this is not a sport we're interested in."

"We spent a lot of time with the Coke team in those meetings, getting them used to Georges and how they can use him. They're a very risk-averse company, but to Georges' credit, people fall in love with him."

"I think what they want is a good athlete, somebody who has success in the sport, but also somebody who carries himself well outside of the sport," St-Pierre said. "They want a good spokesman and role model with a good image. That's who I am."

"There's no doubt that a guy like Georges St-Pierre helps the sport and the overall business," said UFC President White. "He's a guy you can rely on in every way, shape and form. He's a guy you can build your business around. You don't have to worry at night that you're going to wake up tomorrow with TMZ calling you saying crazy s---. Not with him."

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Recent Comments »

MRG1 site profile image  

11/18/12 12:41 PM by MRG1

hahah never seen that before.

fightharder site profile image  

11/18/12 1:18 AM by fightharder

I think you are right about a most things. But i personally do feel that JBJ is getting a hard rap for a lot of his behaviour. I personally dont mind the DUI so much, i also dont mind the cockiness that much (anderson silva is also kind of cocky) and i even can be realistic about the general fakeness.   What annoys me about Jon Bones Jones is the preaching though. I understand that it comes from his family,especially his father, but if makes him just look fucking silly. Be cocky,go out,fuck girls,try not to get into DUI but afterwards dont go preaching to littlle kids saying that you are a rolemodel and you have some important moral lessons for them to learn. He is still a great fighter though but unless he learns that people dont appreciate  being preached to by someone who doesnt practices the things he is preaching he will never get a real big fan base. He get a lot of appreciation but commercial he will never be a big star.   Still it is frankly kind of amazing how fast his downfall was. From helping  little ladies from robberies and being on late night talkshows to being generally despised by most.   Sonnen is definate the ''fall'' guy to spruce up Jon Jones image.

whoabro site profile image  

11/17/12 5:29 PM by whoabro

Glad to see someone like gsp succeed- he deserves every bit of it.

Bat21 site profile image  

11/17/12 4:09 PM by Bat21

"I think what they want is a good athlete, somebody who has success in the sport, but also somebody who carries himself well outside of the sport," St-Pierre said. "They want a good spokesman and role model with a good image. That's who I am." Words every fighter should heed. You want GSP money? Make this your mantra.

Mushroom Slap site profile image  

11/17/12 9:20 AM by Mushroom Slap

Id like to see the past and current fighters wealth list updated that was posted here a few months ago. I believe GSP was 5th or so with DFW being 1 and Chuck the top fighter.

tiger07 site profile image  

11/17/12 5:55 AM by tiger07

I hope GSP becomes the highest paid sportsman. He truly deserves it.

DaemonDragon site profile image  

11/17/12 1:39 AM by DaemonDragon

Yes, very true. Jones wants to exude this aura of humble professionalism - but absolutely nobody buys it because he's terrible at acting that way. He can only thinly veil his arrogance, and he's also very immature. He wants to project himself as a mature pro, but can only manage to project himself as a sleazy cocky young kid.Now to a certain extent I can imagine a rich young person with celebrity status going out and enjoying themselves, there's nothing wrong with that - but that person shouldn't try to act all fake professional to attract sponsors when they are anything but.I mean something like Jones talking about how he'd never get into a DUI, then weeks later getting into a DUI, is just absurd. But Jones is probably surrounded mostly by yes men and I don't see him altering his behavior. And I think Jones will still contintue to try and act all fake professional to attract sponsors - and to some extent it will work. But he will never be as profitable for sponsors as GSP until he matures (which I just don't see happening).

JFC1001 site profile image  

11/17/12 12:41 AM by JFC1001

This.

DrunkenBatman site profile image  

11/17/12 12:39 AM by DrunkenBatman

Mr kirik....to me Income does not mean life earnings so far,it means a rough yearly income (In coming).(I thought everyone thought of "income" as yearly money incoming)Will correct this post when i am at a pc.

HolyAvengerP5 site profile image  

11/16/12 8:19 PM by HolyAvengerP5

gsp is the fucking man.