MMAterial Facts (03/23/10): Exclusive Strikeforce Nashville CBS Promo Plus Analysis

March 23, 2010

CBS begins ad campaign for “Strikeforce: Nashville” during NCAA tourney

CBS will air a series of five- and 10-second spots promoting “Strikeforce: Nashville,” the second Strikeforce card to air on the network, beginning today during the opening round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

Kelly Kahl, senior executive vice president for CBS Primetime, said the network is banking on the wildly popular series to drive interest in the April 17 MMA event.

“As the tournament goes on, the ratings tend to get heavier, so that’s where it really counts to have some spots,” Kahl told ( Wednesday.  (MMAJunkie)


Sommet Center in Nashville, Tennessee

CBS Main Card:
Jake Shields (24-4-1) [SF MW Champ] vs. Dan Henderson (25-7)
Gegard Mousasi (28-2-1) [SF LHW Champ] vs. “King Mo” Lawal (6-0)
Shinya Aoki (23-4) [DREAM LW Champ] vs. Gilbert Melendez (17-2) [SF LW Champ]

Rumored Prelims:
Bobby Lashley (5-0) vs. TBA (SWING BOUT/ CBS Bout)
Cody Floyd (5-0 am, 0-0 pro) vs. Thomas Campbell (17-2-1 am, 0-0 pro)
Cale Yarbrough (6-1) vs. Josh Schockman (3-2)
Andy Uhrich (5-1) vs. Dustin West (2-2)
Ovince St. Preux (4-4) vs. Chris Hawk (3-4)
Hunter Worsham (5-1) vs. Zach Underwood (4-0)
Dustin Ortiz (1-0) vs. Justin Pennington (0-0)

* MMAPayout thanks PROMMA for information relating to the under-card.

MMAPayout Notes: Analysis of Strikeforce Nashville Promotional Efforts

It’s arguable that one of the biggest issues regarding Strikeforce is the manner in which they promote their events.  Promotional and advertising material is not cheap, but it goes a long way into not only selling the fights, but also building your brand and your fanbase. We will recap the promotional efforts so far:

1) CBS, NCAA Tournament: CBS executive Kelly Kahl has assured MMA fans that CBS and Strikeforce will use the NCAA tournament as a key promotional tool for the Nashville event.  Some fans expressed concern that the ad spots they saw only lasted a few seconds and were not very effective.  This is a legitimate concern, though Kahl has stated that the first set of commercials were “teasers”, which are meant to catch the viewers attention.  As we approach April 17th, the commercials will increase in length and be placed in key rating-heavy spots.  Something that jumped out at me in the CBS promo (posted above) is the added effort to promote the Strikeforce name and brand instead of promoting the event as “Saturday Night Fights”, as they have done in the past.

2) CBS, NCIS: Los Angeles, CBS and Strikeforce have scheduled Strikeforce fighters to appear on the CBS hit NCIS: Los Angeles. Strikeforce fighters  Dan Henderson, Frank Shamrock, K.J. Noons, Cung Le, Josh Thomson, and Gilbert Melendez are all scheduled to appear on the show.  The episode is set to air on Tuesday, April 6th at 9:00 PM EST/PST on CBS, 11 days before the 4/17 event.

3) MTV:  Strikeforce and CBS  scheduled their fighters to appear on MTV2 for the Rock N Jock Countdown, which aired on March 6 and March 13.  Muhummad “King Mo” Lawal, Miesha Tate, Bully Beatdown host Jason “Mayhem” Miller,  Josh  Thomson, Scott Smith, and Lavar Johnson were all scheduled to make appearances.

4) Radio: WHO: Undefeated STRIKEFORCE MMA World Championship Challenger “King Mo” Lawal

WHERE: Tomorrow/Wednesday, March 24 at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT on “The All Out Show with Rude Jude & Lord Sear” on Sirius XM Radio (channel 45 on Sirius, channel 66 on XM)

WHAT: LIVE interview on “The All Out Show with Rude Jude & Lord Sear” on Shade 45 on Sirius XM.

5) Advertisement through Sponsors and Partners:  EA, Rockstar, and DREAM have all been doing their share to promote the 4/17 Nashville event.

  • EA Sports MMA: In addition to sponsoring Strikeforce fighters and making fighter announcements before events,  EA Sports MMA has a well placed poster of the event on their home page. A few weeks ago, a gameplay video of EA MMA surfaced, which featured many Strikeforce fighters as well as the Strikeforce promotion and brand in the game.
  • Rockstar: In addition to sponsoring fighters, Rockstar has also released a small promo video of the 4/17 event.
  • DREAM: During the DREAM.13 broadcast on HDNet Monday morning, the DREAM vs Strikeforce theme was a heavily mentioned, and promotional content was sprinkled throughout the event, featured in introduction videos and during the DREAM vs Strikeforce matches.  Shinya Aoki vs Gilbert Melendez was getting a good amount of hype during the event.

Though Strikeforce seems to be doing one of their better jobs of promoting this event, there are a few questions that are still unanswered.  Will they do any other form advertising other than television? (radio, print, PR releases, conference calls, etc) to hit the consumer from different angles?  Another legitimate concern is that Strikeforce still seems to be targeting the hardcore fans, and one has to wonder if they will be able to reach the casuals.  EA Sports MMA, HDNet, and MTV2 have a very narrow reach, and no one is sure how CBS/Strikeforce are planning on promoting the brand or the event during the NCIS: Los Angeles taping, or how effective that will be on the shows current fan base.  One thing that they do have going for them is the NCAA tournament, which propelled EliteXC and Kimbo Slice to have a success debut on CBS.  Strikeforce and CBS are once again hoping for a similar outcome.


Strikeforce St. Louis Event Poster


  • Bibiano Fernandes retains title, Josh Barnett and K.J. Noons victorious at DREAM.13 (MMAJunkie)
  • UFC on Versus 1 draws reported soldout crowd of 6,443 for $568K gate (MMAJunkie)
  • White says April 17 show was never planned, guarantees Strikeforce’s demise (MMAJunkie)
  • “EA Sports MMA” adds UFC’s Matyushenko, DREAM’s Hansen and Barnett to roster (MMAJunkie)
  • White says “we’d love to take” Shields, plays coy regarding Emelianenko (MMAJunkie)
  • Dos Santos Is Out of Big Nog’s Shadow (MMAFighting)
  • Gomi: Elbows Will Be Biggest Adjustment (MMAFighting)
  • Blog: UFC on Versus Post-Mortem (Sherdog)
  • Weekend Rundown: Rodriguez Wins, Hill Falls at XKL ‘Evolution’ (Sherdog)
  • Ouch! Vera’s face broken from Jones elbow (Cage Writer)
  • Free SHOWTIME preview weekend “Strikeforce Challengers” and “Super Six” (FiveOuncesOfPain)
  • Jon Jones, Dana White Talk UFC on Versus Results (Heavy)


  • HDNet Fights Vault (Eddie Alvarez) at 8 PM ET on HDNet (03/26/10)
  • InsideMMA (Wanderlei Silva, Joe Soto, Shane Carwin) at 9 PM ET on HDNet (03/26/10)
  • HDNet Fights: King of the Cage “Legacy” at 10 PM ET on HDNet (03/26/10)
  • Strikeforce Challengers: Johnson vs Mahe at 11 PM ET/PT on Showtime (03/26/10)
  • UFC 111: GSP vs Hardy at 10 PM ET on PPV (03/27/10)
  • HDNet Fights Presents DREAM.13 at 11 PM ET on HDNet (03/27/10)


  • HDNet Fights: King of the Cage – Legacy at 10 PM ET on HDNet (03/26/10)
  • Strikeforce Challengers: Johnson vs Mahe at 11 PM ET/PT on Showtime (03/26/10)
  • UFC 111: GSP vs Hardy at 10 PM ET on PPV (03/27/10)
  • UFN 21 : Florian vs Gomi at 10 PM ET on Spike (03/31/10)
  • The Ultimate Fighter 11 Debut after UFN 21 on Spike (03/31/10)

4 Responses to “MMAterial Facts (03/23/10): Exclusive Strikeforce Nashville CBS Promo Plus Analysis”

  1. Strikeforce ‘Nashville’ Promo on March 23rd, 2010 4:23 PM

    […] MMA Payout Read more about: Dan Henderson, Jake Shields, Strikeforce: Nashville, […]

  2. Jose Mendoza on March 23rd, 2010 4:40 PM

    Updated: King Mo to make Sirius XM Radio appearance for Strikeforce.

  3. uberVU - social comments on March 23rd, 2010 6:50 PM

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by MMASupremacy: Strikeforce CBS Promo Vid & DREAM.13 Intro Vid! Must see videos! Check them out: #Strikeforce #CBS #MMA #DREAM…

  4. eJiuJitsu » Strikeforce ‘Nashville’ Promo on March 24th, 2010 12:29 AM

    […] HT: MMA Payout […]

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