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The power of UFC’s brand online

By Zach Arnold | November 30, 2008

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Did you know that Versus has their own YouTube channel for WEC videos? While some fans online know about it, many other fans do not know about it. A recent WEC ad for Miguel Torres vs. Manny Tapia drew 2,700 hits in a week.

What a lot of MMA fans do know about, however, is UFC’s YouTube channel. Look at the sheer amount of hits that videos such as Dana White’s vlogs are getting (well over 50,000 hits per video). That same Torres/Tapia ad on the Versus WEC YouTube channel that drew 2,700 hits… has drawn over 97,000 hits in the same time span on UFC’s YouTube channel.

Granted, UFC’s videos do not draw the same massive amounts of hits that videos from musicians like Katy Perry or Sara Bareilles draw, but the company is certainly seeing tangible results in terms of its viral reach online.

You can analyze this situation from a few different angles, but one thing is very clear — MMA fans are primarily UFC fans and they only care about the UFC brand, much in the same manner that American football fans only care about ‘The Shield’ first and foremost. The flipside to the argument, however, is that Zuffa LLC has done a lackluster job of consistently building the WEC brand. WEC hit its stride for the Urijah Faber/Jens Pulver match in Sacramento last Summer, but since that point the company has continued to draw ratings in the 0.4-0.6 range on Versus and WEC’s online presence is weak.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, WEC, Zach Arnold | 10 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

10 Responses to “The power of UFC’s brand online”

  1. IceMuncher says:

    Their “most viewed” page has a dozen videos with over a million hits, and a few in the 4-5 million range. Very impressive considering that they’re only hype videos, not actual fights.

  2. D.Capitated says:

    Its about creating fights that interest the public. The reason most WEC shows do IFL numbers is because frankly that’s about the quality of most WEC shows. Guys like Brian Stann, Carlos Condit, Jamie Varner, Rob McCullough, and so on simply are not elite fighters. No one respected those guys as champion of their divisions and for good reason.

  3. Here is part of the problem: I know a mainstream reporter who gets press credentials to major UFC events-and can’t get anyone from the WEC on the phone or even find out how to cover the events. It is ludicrously media unfriendly.

  4. banter says:

    mma curmudgeon

    Sounds like a staffing problem.

  5. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    “The flipside to the argument, however, is that Zuffa LLC has done a lackluster job of consistently building the WEC brand.”

    I think it’s hard to deduce that the WEC brand hasn’t been built up from a comparison between a channel branded Versus and one branded UFC. You could say that Versus hasn’t tied it’s brand to their fight content as well as UFC has.

    Seems to be working out to the liking of both parties though, given that they juiced up the number of events to 8 for 2009.

  6. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Phone? Tried email yet?

  7. Grape Knee High says:

    The UFC is more popular than the WEC? SHOCKING.

  8. Dave says:

    Have you ever tried to have constructive things done via email with PR people? They forget easily or give quick, non-commital replies. If you get them on the phone you can usually bully them to get what you want.

  9. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Not with PR people, but I’ve generally found that emailing someone a few times a day about something is more likely to get it done than phoning them up and getting their voicemail.

    Eventually they get sick of the emails.

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