(Bloomberg) -- Project Rock, actor Dwayne Johnson’s athletic-wear label with Under Armour Inc., has signed a multiyear deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship to bring his shoes to the mixed-martial arts promotion’s bouts.

The agreement will put Project Rock footwear on male and female UFC athletes and corner teams for fight-week events, workouts, weigh-ins and in the locker room. They’ll also wear the shoes as they walk out to the ring before taking them off for the actual match. The parties plan to release co-branded shoes later this year. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“UFC athletes are amongst the greatest, toughest, focused, most disciplined and hardest training athletes on the planet,” Johnson said in an email. “ I am proud, grateful and humbled that my innovative Project Rock training shoe is now the official global footwear partner of the UFC.”

The UFC has been busy adding sponsorships over the past year and talks are ongoing for additional deals. It signed new pacts with sports betting firm DraftKings Inc. and job site ZipRecruiter Inc., renewed long-term arrangements with energy-drink maker Monster Beverage Corp. and men’s grooming company Manscaped LLC and brought on watchmaker Timex Group as a licensing partner. It also teamed up with Crypto.com to put the cryptocurrency trading site’s name on fight kits worn by UFC athletes. 

The Project Rock deal brings together two parties involved with talent and media agency Endeavor Group Holdings Inc., which took full ownership of the UFC prior to going public last year. Johnson is close friends with UFC president Dana White and has been an Endeavor client since 2011. 

“We’re really excited about this because the exposure that we collectively give to each other is massive,“ UFC Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Epstein said in an interview. "Any product that he connects with has his DNA all over it. It’s not a logo slap."

Project Rock replaces Reebok as the UFC’s footwear sponsor as the previous contract expires. Reebok is going through a transition after Adidas AG sold the business to Authentic Brands Group Inc. for $2.5 billion last year.

Footwear Focus

Under Armour is finishing up a multiyear overhaul under Chief Executive Officer Patrik Frisk with shoes becoming a renewed priority as management looks to boost profitability. Footwear sales rose 10% in the third quarter, and Project Rock performed particularly well. The UFC deal also comes amid changes in the Under Armour marketing department; Chief Marketing Officer Alessandro de Pestel will step down in February.

Johnson’s partnership with Under Armour began in 2016, joining an endorsement lineup that includes basketball star Stephen Curry and golfer Jordan Spieth. The line isn’t sport-specific, instead focusing on training in the gym and weight room. Under Armour has released signature sneakers, apparel collections and accessories like backpacks and workout headphones under the Project Rock label.

It’s one of many projects in progress for Johnson. In addition to acting, Johnson owns Teremana Tequila, energy drink Zoa and his production house Seven Bucks. In 2020, he was part of a group that spent $15 million to acquire the bankrupt XFL football league, which now plans to return to the field in 2023.

Johnson, one of the biggest pro wrestling stars ever, never fought in the UFC. He said he considered training for it back in the late 2000s but “smartened up cause I prefer my jaw intact.”

“Being ‘the hardest worker in the room’ isn’t just a catchy slogan,” said Johnson. “It’s my life. But it’s not just my life. It’s the life and soul of every man and woman that competes in the UFC. They are the hardest workers in the room.”

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