Heavyweights: How the UFC Dominates Content Marketing 👊🏻

The popularity of the UFC and the sport of MMA has exploded due in large part to innovative and successful marketing strategies, and makes for an excellent content marketing case study.

As marketing transitions to a focus on customer engagement, content marketing has emerged as one of the most valuable ways for brands to deepen relationships with customers, and indirectly market or sell products. By creating entertaining content and distributing it widely across social and traditional channels, the UFC has been able to attract more people to the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) and convert potential viewers into paying customers.

By telling stories, the UFC does an excellent job at putting the audience in the fighter’s shoes. What does it feel like to enter the ring? What goes through their mind before a fight?

The Ultimate Fighter

To gain mainstream exposure for MMA and their brand, the UFC created The Ultimate Fighter. In this reality TV show, 16 fighters live in the same house, train together, and compete for the grand prize of a contract to fight in the UFC. Many contestants of the show end up fighting in the UFC, and have even gone on to fight each other, with fledgling fan bases eager to tune in.

TUF goes beyond nasty knockouts to show emotional reactions that viewers can relate to

UFC Embedded: Vlog Series

The UFC has produced video blogs for years, featuring behind-the-scenes access to UFC president Dana White, fight week events, and the fighters themselves — creating so much content, that it’s practically its own media organization.

Star Power

For all the brilliant marketing by the UFC, the star power of the main card is the real draw for millions of viewers. Storytelling has become central to promoting fight cards, especially as its top stars become brands of their own. And MMA fighters know branding — they all have signature moves, nicknames, styles, etc. to distinguish themselves and attract sponsors.

The “Notorious” Conor McGregor knows a thing or two about marketing himself

Amplification: Social Media

MMA has become the world’s fastest growing sport, and the UFC’s forward-thinking social media strategy has played a critical role in this rapid growth. By taking advantage of various platforms to create ongoing conversations with fans, the UFC has dominated at social media for years now. On any given Fight Night, 60+ UFC-related topics will be trending on various social channels.

Another TKO for the UFC

Digital professional, creative life. Product manager for design systems at REI.

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