01 Jan Sean O’Malley ‘ain’t getting sh*t’ from Reebok so he’s starting his own apparel line along with the ‘Suga’ strain
Sean O’Malley confesses that when his career is over he’d probably be just as happy teaching jiu-jitsu and living in a trailer somewhere as he would with millions in the bank.
That said, the 25-year-old bantamweight prospect isn’t going to fight for free much less let anybody make money off his name without some kind of benefit coming back to him.
Recently, O’Malley raised concerns about the profits he made from Reebok selling merchandise with his name or likeness attached to it. While he never expected that comment to get as much attention as it did, O’Malley stands by his complaints that he’s not receiving much financial gain from t-shirts and other items being sold.
“I didn’t even know it got blown up until my dad said ‘did you see that article?’ and I said no and he said something. I didn’t know it blew up,” O’Malley said when speaking to MMA Fighting.
“The whole Reebok thing is insane. I think it was back-to-back years that it was over a million dollars [of merchandise sold]. I know one year for sure, I don’t want to say anything that’s not true but I have it in my e-mails, I think it was back-to-back years they did over a million dollars with the shirts and whatever else they sell on Reebok and I got $3,000 and $5,000 I think for those. Absolutely insane.”
In the aftermath of his original comments, Reebok issued a statement saying “royalties paid out on sales of co-branded UFC and Reebok merchandise are dictated by the contract between the individual fighter and the UFC.”
In other words, Reebok doesn’t decide how much fighters are paid from merchandising but either way, O’Malley knows it’s not adding much to his bank account.
“People are always like ‘I love the Reebok shirts, where can I get them?’ I’m like don’t [buy them]. I ain’t getting sh*t from them,” O’Malley said.
With Reebok shirts not exactly making it worth his while to promote them, O’Malley is working on alternative plans to give his fans options to support him.
He’s currently working on his own merchandise line, which O’Malley will personally have a hand in designing all the apparel that will be on sale.
“We’re dropping my own merch line soon and I think it’s going to be fun,” O’Malley said. “That’s something I’ve always wanted to do, too, get into the ‘Suga’ brand, the clothing, and I think it’s slowly going to build like any business and be something really cool.”
In addition to his merchandise line, O’Malley is also working to design his own line of marijuana products, which he has dubbed “The Suga Strain.”
While he’s not ready to make any announcements yet, O’Malley is excited to see the reaction when he drops his own line of products and he believes this could provide the kind of success for him that Conor McGregor found with his Proper No. 12 whiskey.
“I’ve done the ‘Suga’ strain before but we just didn’t do it right,” O’Malley explained. “We didn’t have the right people to build that but I think we’re coming out with the ‘Suga’ strain that’s going to be all around the world. That was my issue with the last one. It was only in California. We couldn’t get it out of California so it didn’t do as good. But I think we’re about to get in with a ‘Suga’ strain in the next couple of months, maybe a little bit longer.
“But I think that’s going to be my whiskey business like Conor. I think that’s going to do the best. So we’re getting into all the industries.”
As much as O’Malley is treating all of these endeavors as a business, he makes sure to point out that none of this will interfere with his actual fighting career.
His end goal remains becoming UFC champion and nothing outside the cage is going to stop him from living that dream.
“It’s all fun,” O’Malley said. “But nothing takes away from the training. In my mind, I know what I need to do and that’s be in the gym, be consistent, do what I’ve been doing that’s got me here and keep doing that. Keep winning fights because then like I said, everything else goes up.”