The UFC began in 1993 with the goal of promoting athletes and providing a platform for them to compete. In the early years, the UFC was primarily sponsored by athletes themselves, as well as some sports-related companies. However, as the sport of mixed martial arts began to grow in popularity, the UFC began to attract more mainstream sponsors. This growth coincided with an increase in brand engagement and athlete development. Today, the UFC is one of the premier mixed martial arts organizations in the world, and its athletes are some of the most popular and recognizable figures in the sport. Thanks to its continued growth and popularity, the UFC is poised to remain a major player in the world of mixed martial arts for years to come.
Why do brands love working with UFC athletes?
It’s simple: influencer marketing is one of the most effective way to reach new audiences and build brand awareness. And when it comes to influencer marketing, UFC athletes are among the best in the business.
Brands love working with UFC athletes because of their massive global reach and fan base, as well as their positive associations with strength, athleticism and perseverance.
In the world of modern marketing, UFC athletes have become some of the most sought-after influencers. Thanks to their high levels of engagement and large social media following, UFC athletes have the power to reach a wide audience and generate significant interest in a brand.
What's more, UFC athletes are often seen as trusted sources, making them especially effective at promoting products and services. Brands love working with these athletes as influencers because they offer a unique way to connect with consumers. By aligning themselves with popular UFC fighters, brands can tap into the fan base and create a lasting connection with potential customers. In today's competitive marketplace, that kind of brand engagement is invaluable.
According to Statista, the average number of pay-per-view buys for UFC events has been rapidly increasing over the years. Thanks to fighters such as Conor Mcgregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov, whose success have contributed to the sport’s global presence.
The sport has competed with boxing in the last 5 years, with regards to popularity. The highest PPV events of all time, MMA and boxing combined, the ratio for boxing:mma is 7:3, which is not bad considering, the sport of mixed martial arts has primarily grown in the last 5-7 years. We have had Conor Mcgregor compete with the undefeated 50-0 boxer, Floyd Mayweather, which turned out to be the second highest PPV event generating 4.3m buys.
For brands, working with a UFC fighter is a no-brainer. Not only do they have a huge reach, but they also come with built-in brand associations. For example, fans of Conor McGregor are not only interested in him as a fighter, but also in his flashy lifestyle and fashion sense. This makes him an ideal ambassador for luxury brands.
Other fighters like Ronda Rousey and Jon Jones have also been to parlay their success in the octagon into lucrative brand deals. In fact, Rousey was once named the “most marketable athlete in the world” by Forbes.
So if you’re a brand looking for a high-impact influencer marketing campaign, working with a UFC athlete is a great option to consider. Thanks to their massive reach and loyal fan base, you can be sure that your brand will get plenty of exposure and generate a lot of sales.