Conor McGregor's transcendence of MMA into the mainstream has been a sight to behold. One could argue that the media storm that surrounded Ronda Rousey may not even be on par with what we are witnessing with McGregor.
Every media outlet in the country is following McGregor's negotiations with Floyd Mayweather and with that comes the opportunity to make more money outside of the ring/Octagon.
Beats by Dre is the latest company to buy into McGregor's polarizing persona and sign him to a deal.
McGregor told a portion of how the deal came together in his latest Instagram post.
On the surface, Beats by Dre is just another in the long line of sponsorships Conor McGregor holds, but the timing of the deal's announcement adds an interesting dynamic to McGregor's developing negotiations with Floyd Mayweather.
UFC President Dana White has confirmed that WME-IMG and Conor McGregor have come to terms on an agreement allowing McGregor to challenge Mayweather, but McGregor's sponsorship usage in the realm of boxing has yet to be discussed. In the UFC, individual sponsors no longer have a home during fight week and in the Octagon. The promotion's deal with Reebok outfits all of their fighters and has been accused of taking a lot of money out of the fighter's pockets. McGregor's boxing match has the ability to turn back the clock and open up another Pandora's Box that the UFC will have to close post-boxing match.
If McGregor's fight with Floyd Mayweather is truly a traditional boxing contest, then McGregor is allowed to advertise his personal sponsors on his trunks, fight week apparel, etc. But, that would mean Reebok would be one of many sponsors hitched to the McGregor bandwagon.
How is that possible?
Reebok has signed on as the official outfitter of the UFC, but this wouldn't be a UFC event. It's a UFC fighter competing in a different sport. We've seen a precedent for this already. When the suspended Jon Jones fought in a Submission Underground grappling match he was allowed to wear any outfit he wanted and didn't have to comply by his UFC contracted uniform obligations. This is a point that the business-savvy Conor McGregor is surely aware of and will use to his advantage.
With McGregor being a Reebok athlete apart from the usual UFC deal, he'll surely be sporting some for of Reebok apparel in the ring anyway, but he no longer has to feature just Reebok. What if Beats by Dre or another sponsor wanted in on the action? What if McGregor's entire camp walked to the ring sporting custom Irish headphones? What if a sponsor offered McGregor a few million dollars to put their logo across his Reebok trunks?
These are the small details that were probably discussed during Dana White's negotiations with McGregor, so best believe that McGregor will get rewarded handsomely if he decides to make Reebok his sole outfitter for the fight.
These little quirks within the McGregor-Mayweather fight are what make the deal so groundbreaking and the fight intriguing. The action in the ring may not live up to the hype, and it'll most likely be a runaway victory for Mayweather, but the trailblazing precedent McGregor is setting will change how the UFC does business for decades.
When it is all said and done, McGregor's impact on the UFC will be remembered for his "Dare to be great" attitude outside of the Octagon, more so than for his amazing accomplishments inside of it.