Ring Of Sports Marketing

Date archives December 2015


UFC’s Paige Vanzant In Reebok Official Content

In “The Moment” segment featuring Paige VanZant we learn more about her as we near her first fight as the Main Event.  It’s refreshing to see a new type of storyline with VanZant that we don’t normally see with other fighters.

What this segment means for combat sports:

The coolest feature of this segment is watching a clip of her sparring in 3D.  With the small, finite dimensions of the ring relative to other sports, Reebok is creating an innovative new way to display content and make for a richer experience.  I love this idea and hope to see it get better in the future.


UFC Announces Aldo-McGregor Winner Will Grace Cover of Next Video Game


EA Sports has been a partner with the UFC since 2012 after THQ shut down.  When asked to develop a video game by Dana White and the UFC in 2009 the UFC went to THQ to develop UFC: Undisputed.  A couple years later EA created EA Sports MMA featuring Strikeforce fighters.

The second UFC game from EA Sports is scheduled for release in the spring of 2016.  Ronda Rousey has already been named as one of the cover athletes.  Since this is sports it’s an unfortunate fact that a man also needs to be on the cover.  EA says the winner of Aldo-McGregor will be on the cover next to Rousey.

Ring of Sports Marketing analysis:

EA Sports made a really smart move putting something on the line relating to the video game.  Throughout the prelims and PPV there are going to be people bringing up that the winner will be on the cover of the next video game.  With this fight being one of the biggest of the year and getting a lot of attention from casual sports fans this marketing move provide for a great promotional environment for the video game.

Also, it makes sense that they want to make sure the person they put on the cover is coming off of a win.  For example, if McGregor was put on the cover now and he were to lose, the packaging of the product would be a real flop.


Conor McGregor Signs Deal with BSN

Conor McGregor, who is squaring off against Jose Aldo on December 12th, has just signed a sponsorship agreement with Bio-Engineered Supplements and Nutrition (BSN).  BSN is the most recent addition to a sponsorship portfolio including Reebok, Monster Energy, and Bud Light.

The UFC’s official supplement partner is Muscle Pharm so Conor McGregor will be unable to wear a BSN logo into the octagon with him.

What this means for combat sports:

Conor McGregor’s outlandish personality, paired with his in octagon success, has led him to a quick rise through the featherweight division.  McGregor’s personality is what has driven him from UFC contender and interim champion to awareness throughout the casual sports world.

His awareness and “brand” is what creates value for companies, like BSN, to partner with him.  McGregor’s brand power is especially important in this scenario with the UFC already having a sponsorship agreement with Muscle Pharm.  BSN won’t be able to get onto UFC programming and are relying solely on McGregor’s star power.

This case further emphasizes the need for athletes and fighters to develop their own brand so that they can ink big contracts with companies, especially given that fighters are not employees of the UFC but independent contractors.

(via Conor McGregor, UFC Featherweight World Champion, Joins Team BSN® – YouTube)


Alvarez-Cotto PPV hits about $58M in revenue

Alvarez-Cotto PPV hits about $58M in revenue


Klitschko-Fury draws strong U.S. audience

Klitschko-Fury draws strong U.S. audience


Daytime TV As An Educator?

Holly Holm appeared on Kelly & Michael after her win over Ronda Rousey.  After her interview she showed Kelly how to perform a high kick on Michael Strahan, former NFL defensive lineman.

One of the biggest shortfalls the UFC and comb sports have is getting people to see the sport.  Many people only see the violence and are instantly turned off.  An understanding of the sport, based on my primary research, has been shown to reduce the significance of violence in the product.

Daytime TV shows often have a segment where chefs will show how to make a dish or stylists will show the fashion trends for the next season.  On this episode Holly Holm illustrated one of the key parts of fighting: using angles.  It may seem very subtle but one of the big takeaways, that people I have surveyed say, is that using an attack, moving to the side, and then following it up with another move is a tactic in the sport.  To boil it down even further: after a punch you want to move to the side to set up a kick.  It may seem tiny to regular fans of the sport but to introduce that nugget of information to the masses is a step in the right direction.

(via Holly Holm’s Knockout Kick – YouTube)


Women’s P4P Champ the Most Mainstream Fighter?

On the heels of Holly Holm’s upset victory, one of the biggest in the history of sports, Holm has been making the rounds on all the primetime and mainstream television shows that have hosted Ronda Rousey in the past.  Holm is now known as the woman who beat the unbeatable Ronda Rousey.

Rousey’s meteoric rise appears to have paved the way for other women’s MMA fighters to make it into the mainstream.  Female fighters seem to be much more TV friendly than their male counterparts.

Largely, the easiest way to getting into the mainstream is getting mothers to like your sport.  Male MMA fighters might come off as too edgy or signal violence.  The women might be the best Trojan Horse to introduce the sport to mothers who will then allow, and maybe even encourage, their kids to participate in MMA.

(via Holly Holm on LIVE with Kelly and Michael – YouTube)