Sean O’Malley is a fighter first, but he’s learning quickly how to be an entrepreneur.
The 25-year-old bantamweight sensation, who joined the UFC after an appearance on Dana White’s Contender series, has quickly become one of the most talked about fighters on the entire roster.
His popularity has helped him build a massive fan base on Twitch as well as Instagram, where he currently boasts over 1.1 million followers. O’Malley has also inked lucrative endorsement deals outside the UFC.
But after discovering that he wasn’t earning much from the UFC’s official apparel partners at Reebok, O’Malley decided to strike out on his own. As he first told MMA Fighting in early July, plans for an apparel line were already in the works and now it’s all coming to fruition with a launch date scheduled for Aug. 11 — just days before O’Malley competes at UFC 252.
Ahead of his first line of shirts and other merchandise dropping where he will reap the bulk of the benefits, O’Malley made a test run recently by releasing a limited edition jersey. It took him less than one minute to realize starting his own apparel line was a really good idea.
“We did our first little drop with the jerseys. We had a limited edition jersey, 100 of them for $200. They sold out in 39 seconds,” O’Malley revealed when speaking to MMA Fighting. “We auctioned off No. 420 and 69, those went for some good money on eBay.
“So that was exciting, kind of seeing the numbers we could do. I think over 4,000 people on the website trying to get the jerseys.”
Earning $20,000 in a matter of seconds is more than double what O’Malley said he made in two years with Reebok after selling more than a million dollars’ worth of merchandise with his likeness attached.
Now as he designs and plans his own clothing line, O’Malley is very excited where the future will take him as he expands his ambitious business plans beyond the octagon.
That said, O’Malley never loses sight of his primary job with his next appointment scheduled in the co-main event at UFC 252 against Marlon “Chito” Vera.
“We’re dropping some more stuff fight week,” O’Malley said. “Might be doing a collaboration with Cookies for some merch. Everything’s going awesome.
“The only thing I need to do is keep winning fights and everything around me goes up from there. Everything’s going good and can’t complain.”