CBD is making waves in professional sport. The legalization of Marijuana in different states is opening doors for business, especially for companies who are eager to capitalize off new sponsorship opportunities. Many of these business prospects are popping up in the MMA world, and Bellator is leading the way. This week they announced a multi-year, exclusive partnership with cbdMD, Inc.
The MMA promotion is joining forces with the American registered cannabinoid (CBD). As a result, cbdMD will receive an array of integrated partnership assets such as category-exclusive branding inside the Bellator cage. CbdMD joins corporate powerhouses such as Monster Energy and Burger King who sponsor Bellator.
Caryn Dunayer, President of cbdMD released a statement:
“We’re excited to have our company represented in the cage alongside some of the fiercest competitors on the planet. Our partnership with Bellator and Viacom/Paramount will facilitate a unique opportunity to educate athletes and fans about the many benefits of CBD. We believe we’ve started a lasting relationship that will help push both industries into the future.”
The CEO of Bellator, Scott Coker said:
“I am pleased to welcome cbdMD to the Bellator family. As the sport of MMA continues to evolve, teaming up with innovative partners is equally important, and they are leading the way in a rapidly growing industry. I want to thank Hans Molenkamp, as well as the entire team at cbdMD for this great opportunity, and I look forward to their integration into the Bellator brand and introducing them to our passionate fans.”
This isn’t the first time an MMA organization has joined forces with a cannabis company. Earlier this year, the UFC made a lucrative sponsorship deal with Aurora Cannabis. The deal is rumoured to profit $15 million per year for the UFC over the next five years.
Sponsorships for Fighters
Many fighters also have their own sponsorships with cannabis companies and speak positively of the impacts. Bellator star Quinton “Rampage” Jackson recently said to Yahoo Finance: “When I knew CBD works is when I had problems with my elbow… all the years of fighting, I couldn’t really do push-ups, and whenever I lifted weights, it was a big pain. Then I started taking CBDMD, and after a week I noticed less pain, and I could do a full push-up… I take my CBD supplements every day. I do the bath bombs, the creams, I do it all. I was sceptical at first, but it works.”
Future of CBD
There is still some resistance from companies who have been critical regarding a lack of regulation and clear labelling. For example, Acreage Holdings (CBD company) had a commercial that was rejected during the Superbowl by CBS. New scientific research is continually investigating the health implications of CBD, so there is still a level of scepticism within the corporate sphere.
However, as cultural and legal perceptions of cannabis change, the potential business opportunities will likely increase. This sponsorship deal between cbdMD and Bellator will definitely promote CBD product information and increase much-needed visibility of the cannabis industry.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/25/2019.