Forget boring and simple concepts like “red corner” and “blue corner.” Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 2023 has no use for silly terminology like that. From now on, the corners where fighters sit between rounds will be known as, “PRIME Hydration Recovery Zones.”
That’s according to the press release UFC issued to announce its partnership with Logan Paul and KSI’s PRIME energy drink, which just replaced BODYARMOR Sports Drink as, “the Official Global Sports Drink of the UFC.”
It was a missed opportunity to dub the corners “blue raspberry” and “tropical punch” in our opinion.
Nevertheless, we’re going to use a lot of “quotes” in this article when dealing with these official press release designations to make it clear what represents, “New Octagon Branding” language and what represents our thoughts on these cringe new titles. We certainly don’t want you to think we’re now referring to the corner stool as the, “newly-launched 30th anniversary celebration PRIME Octagon-shaped Cornermen Stool.”
Earlier this week, Logan Paul and Dana White hyped a big UFC announcement that had many people paying attention. Was Logan going to make good on a request to fight in UFC? C.M. Punk may or may not still be languishing under a pre-sunset clause contract, and we’d love to see those two scrap.
That’s the kind of mixed martial arts (MMA) circus fight that should be booked. Alas, it turned out that Paul’s PRIME drink brand was becoming a UFC sponsor.
Sorry, let me rebrand that to you in corporate marketing speak: they announced, “a multi-year global marketing partnership that forges an alliance between one of the most popular sports in the world and the fastest-growing hydration company.”
This isn’t just a one-way deal, either.
Sure, you’ll no longer be able to watch UFC without PRIME being visible all over the cage and pre- and post-fight dais and every other spot Endeavor can fit their logo. But, in addition to that, Logan Paul and KSI will ‘collaborate on original content that will be distributed through their massively popular social media channels’ that promotes UFC.
Which — okay, we’ll admit it — is pretty smart business. And more important? Cool ... dope ... fire ... fetch. Us MMA old-schoolers aged-out of the ever-important 18-to-34 age demographic years ago, and this is a way for UFC to get its product back in front of those young, TikTok-addicted eyeballs.
Not so cool: the rebranding of everything in (and around) the Octagon. When Endeavor bought UFC for billions of dollars back in 2016, one of the things it noted was a whole lot of sponsor opportunities that weren’t being, “maximized.” I don’t think we’ve hit peak sponsorship yet, but it’s starting to feel a bit much. I just want to lay down and turn to dust reading the following paragraphs from the UFC / PRIME partnership press release:
“As UFC’s new Official Global Sports Drink Partner, PRIME’s visibility will be highlighted by unprecedented branding in the Octagon at all UFC Pay-Per-Views and Fight Nights, as well as at Dana White’s Contender Series and The Ultimate Fighter,” it read. “The new branding will include ownership of the Octagon’s well-known ‘Red’ and ‘Blue’ corners, which will be re-named PRIME Hydration Recovery Zones. PRIME’s corner branding will also be included on the newly launched Octagon-shaped Cornermen Stool, which UFC has developed to coincide with its 30th anniversary celebration campaign this year.”
“PRIME will also be named the exclusive Presenting Sponsor for all UFC Pay-Per-View weigh ins, providing PRIME key brand placement during the UFC fight week event that highlights the importance of proper hydration. UFC will also provide PRIME with branding opportunities within UFC’s state-of-the-art Performance Institutes in Las Vegas and Shanghai, as the beverage company will be named an Official Partner of UFC Performance Institute and will become the Presenting Sponsor of the Performance Institute’s Hydration Stations.”
“Finally, the new partnership will offer a unique, first-of-its-kind marketing activation, as PRIME will be named an Inaugural Presenting Partner of the UFC Foundation, an officially recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. UFC and PRIME will strategically collaborate to develop a charitable youth program that will be administered in under-resourced communities.”
Very smart to include the charity bit at the end as a feel-good chaser after all that gag-inducing brand speak.
PRIME’s takeover as the exclusive extremely visible “Official Global Sports Drink of UFC” starts at UFC 284 on Feb. 11, 2023 in Perth, Australia. So, prepare yourself for the media blitz, because it sounds like we’re about to get synergized to the extreme ... FULL SEND!