“Suga” Sean O’Malley is making bank outside of the Octagon as his new custom jerseys sold out in just seconds.
Last month, the bantamweight standout criticized the UFC’s partnership with Reebok after he claimed that he only made $3k as part of their sponsorship deal, despite him generating the company over a million dollars in sales. According to O’Malley, he was paid incredibly low royalties given the success of his clothing with the company.
“I got royalties from Reebok,” O’Malley said on Brendan Schaub’s Food Truck Diaries. “If I read it right, which I think I did—and I even sent it to my dad like, ‘Did I read this right?’ He said yes, so unless we both can’t read. They made over a million dollars on all my merch, and I got like $3,000.
“It’s ridiculous. I thought I got 15%, but they’re like ‘Well, you get 15% of this, but of this, and then these guys get it, and then you get 50% of that.’ I’m like holy sh*t,” O’Malley added. “Then, they make all these sweet shirts on Reebok … and I’m like don’t buy that!”
O’Malley might not have to deal with Reebok for much longer as the company’s contract with the UFC is nearing its end. The current deal is set to expire at the end of 2020, at which point the Venum will take over as the new official sponsor of the UFC.
O’Malley turned the tables by releasing his very own new collection of limited edition jerseys for approximately $200 dollars apiece. According to reports, the bantamweight prospect sold about 100 in 39 seconds, which is an incredible accomplishment considering he only just debuted in the UFC bantamweight rankings.
While there will be costs incurred from producing a high-quality range of tops, it still equates to approximately $20,000 in revenue, a stark contrast to his $3,000 paycheque from Reebok. He also auctioned off Jersey #69 and #420 which were signed and listed on eBay to test the market value. Each item sold for around $2000 each.
All in all, O’Malley’s jersey release experiment showcased the monetary potential of the fighter which will only accelerate around the time of his upcoming fights. His next bout will take place against Marlon Vera at UFC 252 on Saturday August 15.
If Sean O’Malley can secure his 13th pro win against Vera, there might be plenty more merchandise waiting for fans around the corner.