Uh-oh, calls for top UFC sponsor to be investigated over health risks

One of the UFC's newest sponsors is currently the target of a US Senator who is worried about its effects on children.

By: Tim Bissell | 3 months ago

UFC announced their new sponsor in January

The UFC announced a ‘global marketing partnership’ with Logan Paul and KSI over their PRIME sports drink on January 31, 2023. The deal made PRIME the official sports drink of the UFC and has seen the drink and its logo plastered across events ever since.

Dollar amounts and term limits for the deal were not released by the UFC (shocker). There was also no information about whether or not fighters would receive a cut of this deal (they won’t). However, it does seem like a chosen few will get to cut PRIME checks by carrying the drink around and pretending like it’s the best thing since sliced xyience.

The UFC’s new sponsor might be in hot water, though (which is probably a more enjoyable, and certainly more healthy, thirst-quencher than whatever is in those bottles).

US Senator wants PRIME investigated

Senior Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer is asking the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate PRIME Energy, which boasts 200mg of caffeine per can. 200mg is twice as much caffeine found in a can of Red Bull and six times more than a regular can of Coca Cola.

Schumer said that PRIME’s appeal to young people makes the drink problematic. PRIME capitalizes on KSI and Logan Paul’s appeal to Gen Z and has people literally fighting over bottles and selling them online as if they are collectors’ items.

PRIME poses a “serious health concern for the kids it so feverishly targets”, wrote Schumer in his letter to the FDA.

PRIME has a “not recommended for children under 18” label on it, which KSI, Paul and the UFC may hide behind. Even so, Schumer’s direction to the FDA could still hurt the drink and the profits its influencer creators might be able to make off of it.

Schumer is specifically asking the FDA to examine the sponsored content that is hawking PRIME, in addition to the drink’s ingredients and the caffeine content.

Not the first time a UFC sponsor has had bad press

Remember the Reebok deal? When the UFC signed a deal with Reebok to become the official outfitter of fighters, a wave of negative press followed. That was mostly due to the fact that the promotion killed fighters’ chances to make money off their own clothing sponsors (a serious hit to the fighter classes’ ability to earn income outside of bout agreements). Non labor-friendly fans also knocked the deal with Reebok, over the shoddy quality of its product and the would-be-hilarious-if-not-deeply-depressing typos.

If anyone has a Giblert Melendez shirt, by the way, that’s probably worth something today.

Don’t forget the UFC’s deal with Crypto.com, too. Oof.

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About the author
Tim Bissell
Tim Bissell

Tim Bissell is a writer, editor and deputy site manager for Bloody Elbow. He has covered combat sports since 2015. Tim covers news and events and has also written longform and investigative pieces. Among Tim's specialties are the intersections between crime and combat sports. Tim has also covered head trauma, concussions and CTE in great detail.

Tim is also BE's lead (only) sumo reporter. He blogs about that sport here and on his own substack, Sumo Stomp!

Email me at tim@bloodyelbow.com. Nice messages will get a response.

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