Many fans were heartbroken when UFC Women's World Champ Rhonda Rousey was knocked out by Holly Holm. The animosity between the two was high from the beginning, with Rhonda taking her "big talk" to social media. Literally, it came back to hit her in the face (this time in the form of Holly's foot).
While Holly is considered the winner, how come Rhonda still made more dough according to the Reebok Payout? The answer is probably obvious, but let me point it out anyway - loyalty. In this case brand loyalty. Rhonda is a brand - yes she's a person, but she is also a brand. She has built a following, and a reputation for her fighting style. This style has attracted sponsors like Monster, Metro PCS and Reebok - 3 huge names with lots of money.
Rhonda may have lost and everyone is talking about it, but that's the whole point - they're still talking about Rhonda "the badass who lost her title" not Holly Holm who took it from her. All the while, Rhonda is still raking in more cash and more sponsors. Here's a few of my theories why these brands gravitate towards Rhonda:
She's a Bad Girl
Everyone loves on right? Sweet Miley Cyrus gone nude, Rihanna from sweet and innocently exotic to BDSM singer, the list continues. If I really wanted to pay homage to all the bad girls of today, I'd be here typing until Friday. The point is that bad girls are interesting and unpredictable. Rhonda's refusal to touch gloves at the start of the match and her angry Instagram rants prove she's bad and she knows it!
This one seems pretty obvious but let me clarify. As a woman, I don't want my only appealing feature to be my body, but at the same time if I were in a sport where wearing virtually a bra and underwear was my uniform - things might be a little different. Rhonda's appeared in several movies and ads for clothing positioning her as a sex icon, but not just the average Playboy style icon - a sexy & strong icon. I won't go as far to say that little girls can look up to her, but for women my age (20-somethings) it might be nice to take a page from her book and not take other people's sh*t.
This kind of falls under the "bad girl" category, but it's worth pointing out. Rhonda is very real with what she thinks of her opponents and she's open about it on social media. From her bashing on Instagram and carrying it over into reality - fan positively respond. Fans like the refreshing "I do what I want" attitude and often times want more stars to be this way. Similar to why some Americans actually like Donald Trump running for President.
Do you think Rhonda's sponsorships will last now that she's no longer the world champ?