The Business as Usual Model Brings Sponsor Tax to Strikeforce


Things at Strikeforce continue to move further and further away from the so-called “Business as Usual” that Dana White said it would be. The once rival to the UFC is quickly looking more and more like it’s twin with every passing day we get further from the purchase.

What began with productions changes behind the scenes at Strikeforce events, quickly turned to a complete revamp of Media credentialing. Then Strikeforce employees lost their jobs as ZUFFA began to play an even bigger role behind the scenes. Now the “sponsors tax” used in the UFC has made its way over to Strikeforce and the sponsors wishing to place their logo on a fighter.

The UFC introduced the tax on companies sponsoring UFC fighters and events in 2009. Basically the so-called tax is a required fee that companies pay to ZUFFA in order to endorse athletes fighting in the UFC, and now Strikeforce. It is unknown the exact amount required but it’s thought to be in the five digits.

This tax is on top of the money the company will pay to the fighter for endorsing the brand and placing it on the shorts, shirts, etc. When we contacted a certain brand regarding the “sponsors tax” they would only respond with, “Unfortunately due to our contract with UFC, we are unable to disclose information regarding our agreement.”

Last weekends Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum event was the first to impose the “sponsors tax” and leading up to the event you could see the brand frustration through out social networking.

“UFC is pissing me off today. They must not care about fighters getting paid by sponsors,” was posted on twitter by the brand Vexillum’s

Vexillum sponsored Connor Heun later responded, “Hey @vexillumllc the #UFC and #Strikeforce hit you with the sponsor tax huh? They are really taking $ out of the fighter’s pockets w dat BS!”

Both the UFC and Strikeforce would not return our request to explain what the purpose of the “sponsor tax” was and more importantly where did the money go?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue and if we hear anything more we’ll let you all know.

Twitter quotes were taken from the Fighter’s Only magazine article on the Sponsor Tax.

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