Zappos Lands Exclusive Deal to Manufacture and Distribute UFC Apparel, Merchandise
Zappos announced that it will be the exclusive wholesaler of UFC merchandise in the U.S. The company that started as an online shoe retailer will manufacture and distribute licensed UFC merchandise like footwear, headwear, T-shirts, sweatshirts, pants, training attire and more.
One interesting tidbit of information here is that Zappos is a subsidiary of Amazon.
We've covered in detail all the ways Amazon is involved in branded merchandise, whether through its ever-expanding Merch by Amazon division or its growing adoption of digital printing equipment, not to mention its presence in the B2B office supply space to the point where it could be a deciding factor in the Staples-Office Depot merger.
This move is noteworthy in its structure, as Zappos will handle both the manufacturing and distribution of UFC branded merchandise. The company already carries a fairly large assortment of apparel that includes T-shirts, jackets, sleepwear, button-downs and more, though most of it is from third-party brands. As of now, it's unclear if Zappos will use any of these brands for its UFC licensed apparel or use a house brand, perhaps leaning on Amazon's in-house apparel brands.
The UFC merchandise will be available on the Zappos e-commerce site starting this month.
“Through our partnership with UFC, we’re excited to bring 'wow' to a whole new customer,” Zappos CEO Kedar Deshpande said, according to Chain Store Age. “It’s a very natural relationship—we’re both Las Vegas-based organizations that share a passion for inclusivity, which extends into the fitness world. UFC celebrates all its athletes equally, and we couldn’t be more humbled to welcome them into the Zappos family.”
The other big UFC apparel news recently was the brand's relationship with Reebok, which was the exclusive outfitter of UFC fighters. In the brand’s contract, it stated that athletes could only wear Reebok-branded products during events, which frustrated athletes who felt they were missing out on endorsements from other sponsors.