Former WWE Superstar Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson brings his footwear brand, Project Rock to the UFC. Established in 2018, Project Rock is a sportswear label backed by Under Armour. With the UFC being the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, the Project Rock x UFC partnership is undoubtedly Project Rock’s biggest move yet.
Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, UFC will provide all of their athletes and corner teams with Project Rock footwear in which they will be wear during all official UFC Fight Week activities including open workouts, official weigh-ins, on Fight Night in the locker rooms, and during their walkouts to the Octagon.
The partnership officially launched on January 22nd for UFC 270: Ngannou vs. Gane. For their first Fight Kit, each athlete and their corner were provided with the Project Rock BSR training shoes and Project Rock slides. In Summer 2022, the athletes will be outfitted with a special edition colorway of the Project Rock x UFC BSR 2 training shoes.
Later on, UFC and Project Rock plan to release co-branded footwear to the public, selling both online and in-store. It’s unclear if there will be an official retail partner, but at this point you can expect to purchase the UFC x Project Rock collection anywhere Under Armour is sold. Official details will be provided at a later date.
Before now, Reebok served as the official footwear sponsor of the UFC. The partnership began in 2014 and ended just before adidas sold Reebok to Authentic Brands Group Inc. for $2.5 billion. Reports show that the 6 year deal with Reebok was valued at $70 million, but was not all cash as it included the value of products.
Financial terms for the Project Rock partnership were not disclosed, but there’s no doubt that the deal came at a hefty cost. As one of the fastest growing sports in recent years, UFC promises massive exposure for Project Rock. With more than 625 million people and over 187 million social media followers, including 900 million TV households, UFC gives 175 countries visibility to Project Rock through their broadcasts.
In 2021, third quarter sales for Under Armour showed a 10% increase, with Project Rock performing particularly well. This comes as the result of a mutli-year overhaul from Chief Executive Officer, Patrik Frisk. Management at Under Armour put a sharp focus on footwear as they looked to boost overall profitability.
This isn’t Dwayne Johnson’s first rodeo as the actor doubles as a businessman with multiple entrepreneurial ventures including Tremana Tequila, Zoa Energy, and his production house Seven Bucks. “The Rock” is super excited to be working with the UFC, both as a fan of the sport and as a close friend of UFC President, Dana White.
“UFC athletes are amongst the greatest, toughest, focused, most disciplined and hardest training athletes on the planet,” said Dwayne Johnson. “Every walk to the iconic Octagon by a UFC fighter is fueled with passion, mana and the deep desire to establish their dominance and legacy. I am proud, grateful and humbled that my innovative Project Rock training shoe is now the official global footwear partner of UFC. Being ‘the hardest worker in the room’ isn’t just a catchy slogan. It’s my life. But it’s not just my life. It’s the life and soul of every man and woman that competes in UFC. They are the hardest workers in the room. They are the ones who walk the walk. They are champions. Project Rock looks forward to the endless possibilities within this historic global partnership with UFC and all the hardest workers in the room.”
Lead image provided by Jesse Grant/Getty Images