Ring Of Sports Marketing


Rousey Stars In New Reebok #PerfectNever Ad

Ronda Rousey might be on her way back to the octagon soon with the new Reebok ad.  In Ronda Rousey’s #PerfectNever ad there’s a reframing of losing.  Combat fighters’ value is very closely tied to their record but in the case of Ronda Rousey she has only become more popular as a result of her first loss.

The commercial goes:

Perfect never gets truly tested.  Perfect never gets to slience it’s critics.  Perfect never gets a shot at redemption.  So yeah, I’m fine with not being perfect.

We last saw Ronda Ruosey knocked out by Holly Holm at UFC 193.  Going into the fight Rousey was 12-0 and seemed invincible after finishing all but one fight in the first round.  When she lost the fight there she was devastated.  While Rousey had planned on taking a departure from the UFC after UFC 193 the radio silence has been deafening on her interest in pursuing MMA.

Some might think that since she’s a celebrity and can make movies she doesn’t need to fight to make money anymore, therefore, she might just walk away from the sport.  This ad looks like she might be coming back sooner than later.

Ringside Analysis:

Based on the primary research I’ve done this is a perfect commercial in terms of reaching not only casual sports fans, but non-sports fans who like Ronda Rousey.  Rousey is the one fighter in the UFC that has clearly transcended the sport by making it into Hollywood hits, daytime TV, and many corporate sponsors and appearances in their commercials.

The commercial tells a very powerful story to launch Ronda Rousey into her NFL comeback.  Like Rousey says in her interview on Ellen, she placed too much of her value as a person on her being perfect and undefeated.  When she got her first loss she essentially had reassess what her value was and she has reframed it towards all the things someone who is undefeated is simply not able to do.

The story of someone overcoming obstacles is one of the most powerful in human history and one of the reasons why Pixar movies are considered some of the best of all time.  People don’t necessarily like characters because of their successes, but because they try.

I also really like the hashtag #behuman.  A huge factor in the likability of niche sport athletes is how relatable they are.  There is a big distinction in what people like about mainstream sport athletes, such as NFL stars, and niche sport athletes, such as UFC fighters.


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