UFC Looking at Entering the Magazine Market?

April 29, 2009

As MMA has seen an explosion in popularity one of the market segments that has been lifted with this tide has been the MMA magazine industry. The magazine publishing field as a whole is seeing a general weeding out of titles (once popular titles like Blender are being shuttered), MMA-specific titles like Fight! Magazine are reaching new sales heights, while other titles like Fighters Only are expanding into the US and new titles like MMA Cage are being planned and launched. With the newsstands bulging with MMA material, the 800lb gorilla may be making their move to enter the market.

The UFC has previously sent out a press release announcing their partnership to put out a commemorative magazine for UFC 100:

The Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) organization and American Media, Inc (AMI), today announced a partnership to publish a special UFC 100 commemorative edition magazine that will be available at newsstands across North America and in some international markets.

AMI titles including Men’s Fitness, Flex and Muscle & Fitness have featured top UFC fighters, as well as UFC President Dana White and UFC® All Access™ show host Rachelle Leah, on past covers and enjoyed a surge in newsstand sales, with several UFC covers breaking all-time sales records for AMI. “We’ve enjoyed working with Dana and his team and look forward to taking our association to the next level,” added Mr. Pecker.

While all the talk to the public has been of a one-off nature, centering on the UFC 100 issue, it is interesting in how AMI is characterizing the issue when selling it to potential ad buyers. As opposed to selling the magazine as a commemorative issue, MMAPayout.com has learned it is being announced to potential buyers as the premiere issue, which hints at a more expansive roll out of the magazine rather than a one time offering. AMI has seen significant sales numbers for their issues featuring UFC personalities, so such a expanded partnership would make sense from their end. Offering an in house magazine would be a case of the UFC further mimicking the WWE model of diversification. The WWE has multiple in house titles to sell to their fans. The UFC have made no secret of their admiration for the WWE business model.

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