The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) wins via Social Media

by Alex on January 27, 2010

UFC President Dana White

Digital Royalty held a fighter summit to educate the fighters and employees of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) about the opportunities that building a social network can open up for them.  Dana White (UFC President) followed up the lesson with a plea for the fighters to tweet their butts off and interact with their fans.  This is in direct contrast from other sports organizations such as the NFL and NBA who see websites such as Twitter as distractions to the game.

Fighters, in addition to working for the UFC, are their own brand, and websites such as Twitter can help them to directly grow their own personal image and receive more exposure.  There are different, creative ways for a fighter to use Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites to make money for them-selves as well.  A fighter can tweet about their sponsor or hold sponsored contests through their Twitter account as an incentive for people to follow them, leading to increased value for the fans, the fighter, and the sponsoring company.  UFC hall of famer and former champion, Chuck Liddell has taken the next step and developed MMAJacked.com, a site designed to connect Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters to their fans on a more personal level.

Dana White frequently participates in “Twitter Tag,” an idea that was developed for Shaquille O’Neal.  It allowed fans to find O’Neal in a public place, such as a mall, or restaurant, based on your tweets, usually for a prize, or in Dana White’s case, tickets to a UFC event.  UFC Walter Weight Champion Georges St. Pierre’s Twitter account isn’t personally run by him.  His handlers had the idea to have fans e-mail Georges during his training by clicking on a link that required them to sign up for the fan site before sending an e-mail, which attracted his website to thousands of new fans.

The UFC is now more accessible than any other sports organization on a personal level.  Everyone from the ring girls, to the announcers, to the fighters, to ownership, all have highly personal Twitter accounts.  They give their followers insight into their lives and opinions, which help us, as fans, relate to them.

As social media technology grows I am confident that the UFC will always be at the forefront.  It will be interesting to see different business plans develop around websites like Twitter and Facebook in the future.

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    I can’t wait for the next UFC fight! It will be awesome. Keep up the great posts.

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    UFC 111 is a really good card! can’t wait for it!

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