UFC Knocks Out Competition with Social Media

Mixed Martial Arts Fighter Dennis Hallman was knocked out in the first round by an elbow from Brian Ebersole at UFC 133 in Philadelphia. Instead of being forced to answer questions from reporters about his tough defeat, he was fielding inquires about…. His short shorts!

That’s right, during the bout, UFC President Dana White tweeted, “WTF!!!! Fighting in that will be illegal after tonight! Anyone want to grapple with Hallman?” Referring to the fighter’s Speedo-looking trunks. In-fight tweets, brutal honesty, humor and ticket giveaways all make @danawhite a must follow on the microblogging powerhouse site, Twitter. With over 1.7 million followers, White clearly has a grasp on social media, which has set the UFC apart from all other professional sports leagues.

While the NBA leads the pack with 13.7 million social media followers (Combined Facebook fans & Twitter followers), the UFC ranks second with 6.9 million, followed by the NFL with 6.4 million, the NHL with 2.6 million, NASCAR with 2.5 million and the MLB with 2.2 million. The UFC is just a baby when you compare their existence to the other professional sports leagues. When it comes to social media, however, the UFC’s young mentality clearly plays in their favor.

The UFC first decided to live stream preliminary fights for their fans on Facebook on January 2, 2011 for UFC Fight Night 23. When the UFC’s Facebook page received a whopping 130,00 “Likes” during the fight, the decision for Dana White to use social media instead of the official UFC website for the free online streaming of future bouts was a no-brainer. When mainstream media wouldn’t give the UFC the time of day, Dana White gave fighters the simple instruction, “I want you to Twitter your asses off.” The UFC is currently the fastest growing sport in the world and signed a massive television contract with FOX, in addition to their deals with SPIKE, Versus and of course their pay-per-view events.

There is a direct correlation between the UFC’s heavy involvement in social media and their incredible growth. While we don’t expect @nflcommish Roger Goodell to talk trash to @ochocinco leading up to the playoffs, it will be interesting to see which league president/commissioner will follow in the footsteps of @danawhite and start taking powerful initiatives with social media.

Jason Parks is the Owner of The Media Captain 
Visit https://www.themediacaptain.com/ for the social media scoop!