Ring Of Sports Marketing

Date archives June 2016

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Sage Northcutt Signs Sponsorship Deal With Reebok

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Valeire “Trouble” Letourneau Takes Commentators’ Criticism Over Chest Kicks Personally

Letourneau fought Joanne Calderwood and came away with a loss.  The real story for Letourneau is the criticisms from commenters that she struggled with getting kicks to her chest.  During the fight Letourneau would cover her chest after a kick and look to the ref to call a break.  According to her, the issues was with Reebok clothing.

From her instagram post:

I want to clarify something, my daughter told me what the commentators were saying during the fight, and I felt insulted. I have been practicing martial arts for 17 years, so I have no problem taking hits to the chest. It is the rule, and it isn’t worse than a low kick! My only problem during the fight is that my bra litterally slipped under my breasts. This is why I stared, embarrassed, at the referee, and I have no idea what Jojo told me, but I had to keep fighting. It seems that I was being mocked because I seemed to be complaining of blows to the breast. I think that I have nothing to prove regarding the numbers of hits I can take without complaining. Guys, would you be able to keep fighting without being distracted if one of your nuts was slipping out of your shorts? Anyway, it does not excuse my defeat, but I wanted to clarify this part of the fight!

Ringside Analysis:

Reebok has seemed to struggle upholding their end of the partnership with the UFC.  They have struggled with creating accurate shirts, using clip art for shirts, and this is just the most recent example of fighters complaining about the fit and quality of the fight apparel.

The starting point for Reebok to become more successful is to better its quality.  For example, when Nike is selling its products the company customizes each product for one of their top athletes and can meet the specific need of an athlete.  Imagine if Tom Brady starts complaining about Under Armour shoes or Derrick Rose says his shoes hurt during games.  From a PR standpoint critiques by athletes is the first thing that needs to change.

I also think that the shirts should probably look more like sleeveless surfing rash guards.  I don’t believe that these changes are that difficult to make and could go a long way.

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Ex-Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer back in the boxing business with Ringstar Promotions

Ex-Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer back in the boxing business with Ringstar Promotions

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UFC and Snapchat Announce Partnership


The UFC and Snapchat have joined forces to create and distribute content on the Snapchat platform.  The content will cover live events and give behind-the-scenes footage.
From the press release:

UFC® today announced a multi-year partnership with Snapchat through which the social media company will cover a selection of events via its ‘Live’ product. Fight fans at UFC events, that also have the Snapchat mobile app on their iOS or Android devices will have the opportunity to contribute their unique experiences through photo and video Snaps to one collective, curated Snapchat Live Story. These Live Stories will then be available for Snapchatters globally to view for 24 hours following the event.

“We’re excited to partner with Snapchat and continue to offer compelling and fun content both in-arena and globally during our major events,” UFC Chief Content Officer Marshall Zelaznik said. “We’re dedicated to supplying access to our content through the platforms that are relevant to our lives and producing global Live Stories is another way we’re consistently engaging with our fans.“

UFC currently has more than 46 million followers across all social platforms around the world. On Snapchat, UFC captures press conferences, athlete and celebrity Q&A’s, open workouts, media day events, weigh-ins, behind-the-scenes moments during Fight Nights and first-person accounts by athletes. UFC also hosts a weekly show on Snapchat entitled “Cookin’ with ‘The Menace’ featuring UFC featherweight Dennis Bermudez.

The first partnership efforts will take place during Fight Week and UFC 200 and will be in full effect by UFC 202 featuring the rematch against McGregor and Diaz.

Ringside Analysis:

Snapchat “stories” show great content created by both the events or brands themselves and the attendees of the events.  When users make a video or take a photo they can upload their content to Snapchat where it is curated by the company and placed into a single story.

The company also uses filters that are geo-targeted for an event that show location and relevant designs.  Also, there are some filter effects that appear on Snapchat that coincide with an event.  For example, when Coachella was occurring and had a story there was a filter available that allowed people to put a flower halo around their heads.  Personally, I’ve seen that filter on Facebook many times since then as people’s profile photos.

This could be a huge gain for the UFC.  The UFC sells really well with the 32 and under demographic, which happens to be the core of Snapchat users.  With UFC events being placed as stories on the app for everyone to see there is a tremendous amount of exposure to a “mainstream” audience that can garner new fans.  However, all content needs to be geared towards a mainstream and casual sports fan audience and not a core UFC fan.  There is a pretty stark difference.

I am looking forward to getting behind-the-scenes access that I otherwise would not get creating a strong value and incentive to be on Snapchat.

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PBC on CBS Keith Thurman v. Shawn Porter Draws 2.12 Million Viewers

Keith Thurman won a close but unanimous decision, 115-113 by all three judges, over Shawn Porter who pushed the champion to the limit.  It was another PBC event on a network channel during prime time.  The fight drew an estimated 2.12 million viewers, which is an improvement upon the last PBC show on a network television network.

According to TV By The Numbers the program had a .5% share amongst the 18-49 demographic and a 2% share overall.

Ringside Analysis:

This event went up against a lot of other sports including an MLB game, the Olympic Trials, and came after a full day of soccer.  The improvement in rating is a very positive sign as many people were deeming the PBC a failure after last week’s show that drew poor ratings.

With the fight being much of what boxing fans love about the sport the next show might draw some more viewers.  The fight was electric, action-packed, and many portions of the night made it onto ESPN’s SportsCenter.  The next PBC on network TV event might be indicative of how much a great fight can have on follow-up programming.

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UFC — No Sale Yet … Not Even Close

UFC — No Sale Yet … Not Even Close

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UFC exec says reports of UFC sale are ‘false,’ internal email to staff offers same message

UFC exec says reports of UFC sale are ‘false,’ internal email to staff offers same message

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The World’s Highest Paid Athletes 2016

The World’s Highest Paid Athletes 2016

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UFC sale reportedly imminent with two bids in $4.1 billion range (updated)

UFC sale reportedly imminent with two bids in $4.1 billion range (updated)

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FanDuel, DraftKings in Merger Talks Amid Legal Fights

FanDuel, DraftKings in Merger Talks Amid Legal Fights