The UFC is light years ahead of any sports league or, for that matter, any corporate environment with communication channels in social media. UFC leverages Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and has become one of the most transparent businesses in the world. As Amy Martin from Digital Royalty states, they have humanized their organization. http://bit.ly/nWV5uj Fans have an opportunity at any time of any day to interact with fighters, check out the latest videos of upcoming fights on YouTube and even watch future stars in prelims on Facebook.
Fighters are certainly a different breed. They take criticism very well, are accessible at most times of the day on Twitter and genuinely enjoy social media. Most fighters are well educated and incredibly articulate when communicating to fans. On the flip side, they are also extremely insensitive to criticism and accept foul remarks towards them from fans and others. Twitter is an absolute gift from the gods for the UFC. Fighters are fully engaged with fans, asking questions, answering questions and even shooting it out with a few.
Other sports completely and utterly fall into the flat line position with Twitter. Teams are demoting players to the minors for expressing their First Amendment rights. Players are leaving Twitter because fans are being “mean” and commissioners are enforcing rules on when players can tweet and what they can tweet. You’ll never see Dana White or anyone from the UFC impose such sanctions, and therefore the UFC is going to continue to own the Twitter market. Fight fans get everything they want and more from Twitter.
Is MLB global? No. Is the NFL global? No. Is the NBA global? No. Is golf global? Kind of, but you will find more octagons than golf holes in Brazil. Is boxing global? Yes, but most fans despise the sport for the way it is run and there are no changes in sight.
UFC’s arm reaches like a pillar to post on the entire world’s coral. As Dana White stated, everyone can relate to fighting. When you were a kid, didn’t you always run to watch the fight at recess? Yes, in fact I cheered like Neanderthal at the action.
UFC has market power on every continent in almost every country. Stylistically, almost any country in the world can relate to the in-ring science of MMA/UFC. Countries either embrace ju jistu, karate, kick boxing, muy thai, wrestling, boxing, or a combination of a couple or all. The results speak for themselves. Go to Wikipedia and browse through the diverse backgrounds of the fighters. There are fighters from Russia to Argentina. Look at the PPVs over the last couple of years. UFC has held events in the US, Germany, Ireland, Brazil, Canada and is now considering an event in Japan. Within the next couple of years, I would not be shocked to see at least 10 televised events per year in different countries. Companies/businesses are global for a reason: their products or services are utilized across several nations and depending on how well the companies are run they are stable and grow year after year. The UFC is a business at the end of the day. With a global wingspan, their business can continue to stretch and maintain its strength for years to come. Everyone can relate to fighting and every culture can relate to the style of fighting.
Boxing is a black tie culture and the UFC is an Affliction flannel hat wearing culture. Which is cooler and more welcoming? Boxing commentators are regular seen in full suits, decked out for the Oscars, however, UFC commentators are more likely to be seen wearing business casual button downs or kicking Nikes in full suit attire.
Weigh-ins are always streamed live online with the boss (Dana White) and Lorenzo Fertitta (CEO) present and accounted for. Where do MLB, NFL, NHL and NBA owners sit for their games? 90% of the time it is in an extremely posh owners lounge. With the exception of Mark Cuban, who is adored by fans and also present on Twitter, I cannot think of any other sports executives who are as transparent as UFC’s. White and Fertitta are constantly open to interviews and they take criticism on public forums, speak to the fans at expos, etc.
When was last time a fan set up the batting lineup, or aligned the defense for an NFL team, or suggested who would throw the free throw? Numerous times, the UFC has listened to fans on Twitter and set fights up according to their feedback.
UFC fighters come to the ring shaking hands and high fiving fans before each fight, decked out in hats and T-shirts. Boxers continue to choose the more traditional garb, the robe. UFC screams of a new age. A fighter looks more like a fan in the arena than a boxer in the ring.
Trendy, yes, the UFC is trendy. Fighters walk out in Affliction, Tokyo Five, Dethrone and other sponsored shirts you would not be surprised to find in bars or clubs. Fight fans immediately jump online to purchase walkout shirts their fighters wear to the octagon. What is cool about Floyd Mayweather nowadays?
This is a very cool culture folks!