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Conor McGregor offsets UFC loss, renews with Monster, signs with Reebok

Mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor signed a pair of new sponsorship deals ahead of his comeback fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov last Friday.

On the eve of his clash with Khabib Nurmagomedov at Ultimate Fighting Championship 229, the Irishman announced a new multi-year deal with sportswear brand Reebok and a one-year renewal with drinks brand Monster Energy.

McGregor went on to lose by submission in the fourth round, but the fight and McGregor’s return to the UFC are expected to be a huge commercial success nonetheless.

McGregor’s deal with Monster is reportedly a seven-figure deal, described by Monster’s MMA sales chief Hans Molenkamp as “one of the more lucrative deals the company has done with an athlete”.

Likewise, McGregor’s manager Audie Attar said the Reebok deal is worth more than $5m.

Both Monster and Reebok are current sponsors of the UFC, with which McGregor signed an eight-fight contract last month, at the same time as launching Proper No. 12, his own brand of whiskey.

Until his fight with Nurmagomedov, McGregor had not fought in the UFC since 2016, when he switched to boxing to take on former world welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather last year.

For more on UFC’s portfolio of regional sponsors, see our analysis here.

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The partnership is understood to be a three-season deal, from 2019-20 to 2021-22, and builds on AXA’s existing Global Partner agreement with Liverpool.

The deal is the largest ever sponsorship investment in UK women’s sport and comes less than a year after the league went fully professional in September 2018.

Under the five-year global deal, Oppo will become the first Official Smartphone Partner of The Championships, Wimbledon, as the event is officially known.

US sportswear brand Nike is paying about $7.5m (€6.7m) per year to sponsor China’s League of Legends Pro League (LPL), according to industry sources.