The rematch between Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor has been one of the most hyped fights in recent memory. Diaz and McGregor were supposed to be the main event at UFC 200 before Conor McGregor and the UFC had a disagreement over marketing obligations for the event. A couple days ago the UFC released the trailer for the rematch between Diaz and McGregor. UFC 202 is scheduled for August 20th with Diaz-McGregor scheduled as the main event.
The soundtrack is called “I Know You” by The White Buffalo and is pulled from the soundtrack to Halo Wars 2. Here are the lyrics:
I know you.
We’ve been here before.
A settled score.
I know the darkness,
And poisoned pride.
I know the weakness,
I know the pain.
I know the fear,
The tomb I made.
And the one who comes to find me,
When my time is through.
I know you.
Yeah, I know you.
I love the theme that the UFC has chosen for this trailer. I think it taps really well into a rawness and sense of honesty that comes with the sport. People hear from fighters and other people in the sports world that fighters really find themselves and that two people can know each other more than many others just by fighting each other. That idea is a deeper subtext for the rematch that underlies the obvious storyline: the rematch.
The trailer also plays well on the fact that both fighters will have a full training camp to prepare for each other. Nate Diaz took the first fight on eleven days notice. Conor McGregor had spent weeks preparing for a different fighter, something that Conor McGregor blames his loss on. McGregor also says that he didn’t pace himself well during the fight and that Diaz got lucky. While I don’t find any of those reasons compelling in any way, shape, or form, it does create a story that McGregor can tell himself as well as create a talking point for the media when discussing the fight.
Based on my primary research and my experience with messaging, this is a phenomenal trailer for UFC 202 if their target is a more mainstream audience. The “story” of the first fight and the lead-up to the second fight is clear. There are action segments from the first fight but don’t clearly show any real blood or visual signals that could cause some casual sports fans to squirm. Showing training footage does a lot to engage fans’ aesthetic attraction to the sport. The last images are Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz doing ring walks before a black and white close-up of their faces.
This commercial does away with a lot of “goofiness” that can be found in some combat sport commercials. There are a couple more improvements that I think could be made based off research but they are nit-picky when considering how stellar this trailer is.
Lastly, I’d look for Halo Wars 2 to be a main sponsor at UFC 202. This would be a great example of sponsorship activation and cross-promotion.