Sponsorships can be a way to make millions, but some of the companies that sponsor the UFC are just plain strange. Before Reebok swooped in and signed an exclusive sponsorship deal with the UFC, the organization had some totally bizarre sponsors.
On the outside, there really is no connection between condoms and the UFC. One provides safety and protection against harmful diseases. The other involves people intentionally trying to hurt each other. But for some reason, Condom Depot remained a sponsor for the UFC in the early days of the organization.
Bleacher Report claims the UFC was happy to keep Condom Depot on because it portrayed the UFC in a positive light at a time when other companies didn’t. However, Condom Depot couldn’t stay attached to the UFC forever. Dana White pulled the company off of the UFC’s clothing for good in 2009. Despite that, Condom Depot remains famous for being the strangest sponsor the UFC has ever had.
Anything can happen in the octagon — anything. In 2017, a fighter had an accident with her bowels while fighting in the cage. After this, many hygiene companies asked her about sponsorships. The Reebok deal was already in place, so those brands won’t get a place on her clothes. However, hygiene products that aren’t condoms have appeared on UFC clothing before.
In 2014, Dude Wipes, a brand of male hygiene products, sponsored UFC fighter and future champion Tyron Woodley. The logo for Dude Wipes appeared on Woodley’s shorts when he fought at UFC 174, quickly becoming an internet sensation.
Dude Wipes started trending on Twitter. Not long after, the UFC effectively banned Dude Wipes from sponsoring any UFC fighters ever again. It was a short run for Dude Wipes as the company didn’t expect the UFC to clean up its sponsorship deals so fast.
In 2012, the UFC got a new sponsor, Corn Nuts. It was advertised as the official snack of the UFC, but everyone knows fighters aren’t eating Corn Nuts when preparing for a fight. Very few fighters eat junk food; they stick to healthy and clean foods. Just like Condom Depot, fans weren’t sure about the connection between fighting and Corn Nuts.
In one moment, a fighter may knock out their opponent. In the next, the UFC is talking about Corn Nuts’ nutritional value. This disparity made the roasted corn kernels a joke rather than a snack for UFC fans. Worst yet, Corn Nuts went all-in on the partnership. The company made signs promoting UFC fighters and the brand itself. Not only were these signs out of place, but they looked silly.
This isn’t a strange sponsor so much as it was poorly thought-out. Again, Burger King isn’t fooling anyone; very few UFC fighters eat fast food while preparing for a fight. Worst of all though, some of the fighters who they chose to endorse didn’t even like Burger King. For example, when Anderson Silva was at the top of his game, BK sponsored him.
Good for Silva, but Burger King didn’t seem to do any research. Silva has been vocal about loving McDonald’s, Burger King’s biggest competitor. Perhaps this was a play by Burger King to steal an athlete from McDonald’s. Regardless, Silva was stuck between a burger and a hard place.