Add another sponsor to the list of brands that UFC fighters may no
longer display during events.
Sports drink company Good4U Drinks today announced via its Web site
that Zuffa CEO Lorenzo Fertitta informed the brand in an email that
they would no longer be welcome at UFC events.
Good4U's American representative, Rick DeBanks, wrote this
“Good4U Drinks is seen by Zuffa as a direct competitor to Xenergy
(which is owned by Zuffa) and AMP Energy, which advertises heavily
on both WEC events and Spike TV's “The Ultimate Fighter.” Although
Good4U are sport drinks and not energy drinks, they have been
taking share from these brands.”
DeBanks tempered the news with an explanation of the brand's
approach to sponsorship.
“Our marketing strategy with respect to MMA has been to invest in
athletes [across multiple] promotions [rather than with a single
MMA promotion]. Let's face it; [the fighters] are the ones who go
out and bleed for 15 minutes and make the sacrifices that most of
us don't see.”
The ban will go into effect during Saturday's UFC
121. Fighters sponsored by the sports drink that will be
affected include former middleweight title contender Patrick
Cote, Matt Hammill, Chris
Camozzi, and Jon Madsen.
DeBanks went on to write:
“As much as any other sport, MMA fighters depend on sponsorship.
This isn't a cliché; this is a fact. As this decision [to ban
Good4U] has just come down today, it will be virtually impossible
for [the aforementioned UFC 121 athletes] to find alternate
The brand's most prominent fighter, Shane
Carwin, this morning tweeted his displeasure with the ban:
“Another worthy, great, honorable company supporting fighters
banned from the UFC. Thank you for making the road even
Carwin later also tweeted a more in-depth response regarding his
sponsor's prohibition from UFC events, relaying that he was not
“mad” at the UFC, as it was the organization's business decision to
make, but that he was disappointed that he would no longer be
allowed to wear his sponsor.
DeBanks is by no means declaring war on the UFC, however. This
afternoon, the drink representative tweeted that the brand would be
“fine,” and that if UFC president Dana White were to overturn the
ban in time for UFC 121, Good4U would be “more than happy to
donate” drinks for the event.