There is a reason why the Ultimate Fighting Championship is a $4.2B Company.

The UFC are masters at digital marketing

Ok, I will admit, this is not everyone’s cup of tea…

This cage fighting, fight to the death*, blood splattering sport, was purchased for $2 million back in 2001, and with lots of thanks to digital marketing, was sold mid-way through last year for a staggering $4.2 BILLION.

The sport hasn’t changed… fighting has always been around…but it is the way that the organisation effectively uses digital tools to promote events, athletes and information, that has captured a large audience, including myself!

I hated the idea of two women stepping into a fenced cage and fighting until one athlete was unconscious. The UFC celebrated a lift in legislation that allowed Mixed Martial Arts to be sanctioned in Victoria, by attempting to break the attendance record at UFC193 at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne. As I mentioned, I had no interest in Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm, who were set to headline the main event, but as the date grew closer, videos of fighter preparation, background into the athlete’s story, and inside content that no other organisation¬†gave immediate access to.

Watch what I saw here…. and if you don’t have the 9 minutes, I beg you to just watch the first 30 seconds!

I ended up having some form of interest, and when a friend of mine had an extra seat to the event, I really couldn’t say no. The night before, I scoured online for anything I could, to watch more content that was made freely available by the company.

The next day, it was impossible not to get caught up in it all. Tailored Snapchat filters, free digital passes for UFC events following the day, as well as encouraging the sharing of content amongst the fans, rather than neglecting it.

(sorry I couldn’t find the actual one but here’s an example)

How could I not be hooked!

Today, as the UFC has grown, it still does not neglect its fans and their access to digital content, as their digital marketers believe that the extra exposure to such content will translate to Pay Per View buys and money for the company.

On Sunday, another title fight is set to take place, so I encourage you to have a look at the UFC’s social media pages and digital content to get caught up in the event, even though it is happening in Buffalo NY. ¬†Such digital marketing techniques like using Instagram to get users to other content is still used.

Digital marketers of sporting organisations take note… There’s a reason why the UFC is worth as much as it is, and that’s because digital marketing has made it possible for an audience to easily engage with the organisation. Do you know of any other organisations that would rival the UFC to be the best digital marketers?



4 thoughts on “There is a reason why the Ultimate Fighting Championship is a $4.2B Company.

  1. So true. I remember when Rousey was all over Facebook and even though I didn’t have much of an interest, I ended up watching the videos. I think this is becoming so important for marketers to recognise, especially for fights that maybe aren’t as big – run promotions and apps. Betting is also a huge part of the fights, even though I don’t like gambling, I can see how marketers could profit through people gambling on the fights. Love it.


    1. Couldnt’t agree more with you. Digital marketing has become vital for betting agencies, as people can generate massive interest in less exciting events when they have money riding on the outcome. Definitely works for lesser known fights in the UFC, and come to think of it, they have multiple betting partnerships associated with the company all around the world. Thanks for your comment!


  2. From 2 million to 4.2 billion, that is incredible! How far could the UFC take this? The sport is crazy I’ll tell you that, but I can see how you can get hooked! I definitely would have gone to see it for free if I had the chance.


  3. Since the new owners have come into the organisation, they have identified how important digital marketing is to their company, and there has therefore been a visible spike in more accessible digital content for fans like me to enjoy. Really great to see first hand how important digital marketing is to a big organisation.


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