Is UFC Marketing Real?

Discussion in 'UFC Discussion' started by Cblitz, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. Cblitz Yellow Belt

    Cblitz
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    Just to kick things off, I in absolutely no way mean Conor McGregor or Ronda Rousey. Those two situations are entirely visible so let's just write them off to begin with.

    But we always hear of this UFC marketing push. It's related to fighter pay, race, age, looks. Everything. But as someone who watches almost as much MMA content as possible, I often find myself wondering where it even is.

    There are a couple of places I could see it:-

    Card Choice & Position
    Putting someone on a big card in a key position can let more fans see that fighter, and their card position makes you feel that they are important. This is specifically true when they are the main event, but even still, I don't see how this is a big deal. Before we ever saw him fight BJ Penn or Frankie Edgar, I made a post elsewhere comparing the position of Yair Rodriguez on cards compared to Paige VanZant and Sage Northcutt. Essentially, Yair had been placed in more favourable positions every time (until PVZ Vs Rose) but for some reason, no one knew who he was but everyone knew Paige and Sage. For that to be the case, surely the marketing has to be done elsewhere right?

    Dana White's Comments
    Having the president talking about you for sure makes a difference, only....the president is Dana White. I don't know if it's just me, but Dana doesn't strike me as someone with calculated promotional moves when he's discussing things, and he seems more like he's shooting off the cuff and talking about whatever he wants to talk about. I don't find them to be calculated and intelligent pieces of marketing, and even still I bet I could find plenty of praise comments from Dana on someone we don't consider to be "pushed".

    Fighter Pay
    Casual fans buy cards, casual fans don't google fighter pay. It's clear favouritism, and perhaps it's a technical push in that the fighters might be able to afford better training, but it's not a promotional push.

    Television Slots
    No one watches UFC Unleashed or whatever so let's write them off. There are the Fox Sports analysts, but I think this is more of a Fox Sports decision and even if it's not, Tyron Woodley is one of the most frequent yet cited as "unmarketed" so I don't see how this could be a factor.

    Reebok Sponsorships
    I don't personally see why this would make a difference but just knowing a small amount about advertising leads me to believe it would, so this point, yes, I believe those being marketed visibly by Reebok are pushed a bit.

    Someone just made a thread about Mike Perry being pushed for example. I'd compare him to seemingly every other person that get's "pushed" in that....where exactly is the push? Fighters seem to get popular organically, either by their skillset, their excitement or their persona. I don't ever see people actually getting pushed and getting different promotional opportunities than others.

    Is the marketing push real? Or are the UFC absolutely abysmal at marketing and promoting fighters in general?
     
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  2. Reign009 Brown Belt

    Reign009
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    Some fighters do get an obvious push but overall, the UFC sucks at promoting its fighters.
     
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  3. Cblitz Yellow Belt

    Cblitz
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    Which fighters, and can you give examples of their push? Again I mean outside of Conor and Ronda, maybe Jones as well. I'm talking more the Northcutt, VanZant, Perry etc. sort of fighters that people claim to have a push.

    I also want to omit Lobov. I fucking love the guy but goddamn he should never main event a card ever, inside or outside UFC.
     
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  4. I Am Legion Brown Belt

    I Am Legion
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    People act like it's easy. It isn't and it's why boxing can only sell super fights. Obviously Connor and Rhonda are good examples. D.C. And Jones as well. I saw a million commercials for Mighty Mouse but the world just doesn't buy little guys. It's why Dana never bought the Fedor price tag...the guy had no personality to,sell even when many considered him to be unbeatable. The UFC is in a down cycle because a lot of the stars it built up retired, are hurt, or busted for PEDs.
     
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  5. Reign009 Brown Belt

    Reign009
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    You answered your own question right here.

    Alexa Grasso and Cain Velasquez (back in the day) too.
     
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  6. Primitivo Third World Prince

    Primitivo
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  7. JordanLUFC Red Belt

    JordanLUFC
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    I guess a lot of folks off the back of TUF got it in the early days, Forrest Griffin (understandably), Chris Leben amongst a few others
     
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  8. Cblitz Yellow Belt

    Cblitz
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    Granted I'm not in America but I personally see very little promotion. We've just seen custom shirts come into play, which is a fantastic first step for me, but if you compare UFC to say WWE (or maybe more relevant, Rizin), the difference in establishing a character is huge. I'm not even talking cutting a promo, a guy doesn't have to say a word but can have a theme developed through branding. Fedor is the perfect example. His entrance alone had an aura to it. He was a character without having to speak, and that's because a brand was established around him. Even putting a promotional package for a fighter for 30 seconds on a live broadcast would make a difference imo.

    I didn't. I named some people, but my question is actually what is the marketing. What marketing is the UFC doing to push Alexa Grasso right now?

    Good talk.
     
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  9. Sakuraba7 Brown Belt

    Sakuraba7
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    Look how much Sage Northcutt got paid when they just signed him, versus other fighters. Even established fighters on those very cards got paid less. And fans didn't even know who tf Sage was. But they were trying to prop him up as a star.
     
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  10. Cblitz Yellow Belt

    Cblitz
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    I addressed this. It's true that Sage's pay was much bigger than everyone else's. But I've yet to see Dana White say "look how much this kid's getting paid, he MUST be good". 90% of the people buying a card are casual fans, and not a single casual fan is googling how much Sage Northcutt is making. The UFC barely ever publicly talks about how much fighters are earning and never puts out it's own press releases on fighter pay. That information is only spread through websites like BloodyElbow and MMAFighting which have nothing to do with UFC marketing.

    You could maybe give them some credit in being able to market someone subtly, giving them more money knowing everyone will talk about it. But call me crazy, but I don't think "Let's make everyone aware of how much we can afford to give a young inexperienced kid compared to them" is marketing the UFC would jump at.
     
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  11. Sakuraba7 Brown Belt

    Sakuraba7
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    If we're talking about Dana White bigging up a fighter, Doo Ho Choi is a good example then. Someone posted a video here of Dana kissing his ass before the fight, telling him about the marketing and how they put posters of him all over Korea Town.
     
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  12. Cblitz Yellow Belt

    Cblitz
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    That's a pretty good one actually. Yeah if they put posters everywhere for a specific fight or fighter, then yeah, that would be a good example of marketing. But correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that really rare?

    Dana bigging someone up happens in small doses marketing wise I feel. Most of the time, he bigs someone up when asked but isn't really taking the time out of his day to sell you a fighter (which is ridiculous as he's the president of the promotional company). Compare UFC's marketing to Bellator's. I know so many fighters, many of whom have one win or something, because Coker drives them down out throats. With half the airtime, fighters and articles, I can point to more people in Bellator with a promotional marketing push than UFC. But we hear of this "push" all the time, as if it's designed to discredit a fighter's organic rise.

    Most of the time, I feel hype or promotion comes from a fighter with something a little big difference. Like Sage or Paige being the posterchildren for an agenda to be pushed. Or Mike Perry's got this comedy cult following which is going to transfer into a legitimate following. As a result, websites like BE and MMAF capitalize on this by spamming the absolute fuck out of articles relating to them, as clicks = money. This creates the biggest promotional push I find.

    EDIT: Before anyone jumps on that agenda comment, a good qualifier for what I said is that you never hear of the "UFC hype machine" pushing Doo Ho Choi, despite the poster I'm replying to giving a great example of him getting a really solid bit of promotion. Pushing a Chinese fighter doesn't fit into the typical rhetoric and conversation that those discussing Sage and Paige are trying to start.
     
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  13. Sakuraba7 Brown Belt

    Sakuraba7
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    If you wanna find out who the UFC pushes, see who TMZ Sports has on for interviews. Its not just the more mainstream or well-known names. When you see Mike Perry on there, you know the UFC has a hand in marketing him.
    Ever since WME bought the company, TMZ's coverage on UFC fighters had gone up exponentially. I believe they have a connection (WME is one of the two largest talent agencies in entertainment, for those that don't know. So half the entertainment industry is in their pocket.).
     
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