Strikeforce Diaz vs Noons II: Storylines

October 9, 2010

MMAPayout will be taking a look at the storylines heading into Strikeforce Diaz vs Noons II, which will be held at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California on Saturday, October 9, 2010.


Heyman Hustle Signs with EA Sports to Promote Strikeforce Fighters for MMA Video Game Release

Paul Heyman tells MMAFighting what he can bring to the table in regards to the EA Sports MMA video game campaign and Strikeforce fighters:

And Heyman says fans will be blown away by how the fighters will be presented in the clips.

“Not since the original Nike commercials with Michael Jordan and all the guys in the beginning has there been such a personality-centric campaign, and that’s what I would like to do. I think more so than other people, that’s what we can tap into here. Real personality-centric pieces and go after the guys. There’s a real market out there for guys. People have become too soft in their campaigns because they took their eye off the ball.

EA Sports MMA, which features Strikeforce as it’s top MMA promotion and includes a good amount of their fighters, will be be released on October 19th, just 10 days after their event this Saturday.  It’s no surprise the first Heyman Hustle piece featured Nick Diaz, who is set to headline the card this weekend.

EA Sports MMA Weigh-Ins Demo:


Strikeforce Officially Unveils New Logo, Product Line, and Online Store


World championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotion STRIKEFORCE will pre-launch its forthcoming online apparel store, StrikeforceStore.com, tomorrow/Saturday, Oct. 9, the day of its the world championship doubleheader STRIKEFORCE: Diaz vs. Noons II event live on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) from HP Pavilion in San Jose.

The pre-launch will provide fans with the opportunity to purchase apparel sporting STRIKEFORCE’s new, revamped logo.  The complete, new online store is expected to officially launch at the beginning of December, just in time for the holidays.

StrikeforceStore.com will offer men’s and women’s T-shirts and hooded sweatshirts with all apparel sporting a new STRIKEFORCE logo.  A military inspired line of men’s T-shirts with various designs will also be available at launch.  (Strikeforce Press Release)

New Logo and Branding:


Strikeforce Unveils Lineup for First DVD Release

A hard-hitting collection of brutal battles and thrilling knockouts featuring some of the greatest fighters of the world championship mixed martial arts (MMA) league, STRIKEFORCE MMA slams its way onto DVD October 12 from Showtime Networks, CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment.  This two-disc set is a must-have for MMA fans and includes the hottest fights of 2010—previously seen only on SHOWTIME®—along with rare bonus features including never-before-broadcast fights and exclusive interviews. (Strikeforce Press Release)

The STRIKEFORCE MMA DVD is a two-disc set presented in 16×9 Widescreen with English 2.0 Stereo. The DVD is not rated in the U.S. and rated 14A (for violence) in Canada.  The total running time is approximately 5 hours 30 minutes.  The DVD disc breakdown is as follows:

Disc One:
•        STRIKEFORCE: Heavy Artillery Featuring:
•       Alistair Overeem vs. Brett Rogers, May 15, 2010
•       Antwain Britt vs. Rafael Feijao
•       Roger Gracie vs. Kevin Randleman
•       “Jacare” Souza vs. Joey Villasenor
•       Andrei Arlovski vs. Antonio Silva
•       Weigh-in
•       Undercard
•       Post Fight Interview

Disc Two:
•        STRIKEFORCE: Live Featuring:
•       Robbie Lawler vs. “Babalu” Sobral, June 16, 2010
•       Hugo Sandoval vs. Marcus Kowal
•       Jeremy Umphries vs. R.J. Clifford
•       KJ Noons vs. Conor Heun
•       Tim Kennedy vs. Trevor Prangley
•       Evangelista Cyborg vs. Marius Zaromskis
•       Weigh-in
•       Undercard
•       Post Fight Interview

•       STRIKEFORCE: Fedor vs. Werdum Featuring:
•       Fedor Emelianenko vs. Fabricio Werdum, June 26, 2010
•       Bobby Stack vs. Derrick Burnsed
•       Yancy Medeiros vs. Gareth Joseph
•       Bret Bergmark vs. Vagner Rocha
•       Chris Cope vs. Ron Keslar
•       Josh Thomson vs. Pat Healy
•       Cris Cyborg vs. Jan Finney
•       Cung Le vs. Scott Smith
•       Weigh-in
•       Undercard
•       Post Fight Interview

The Strikeforce 2 Disc DVD set is set to release on October 12, just 3 days after this Saturday night event and a week before the EA Sports MMA video game is set to hit the stores.


Strikeforce Fighters Herschel Walker, Cris Cyborg, and Evangelista Cyborg Featured on ESPN’s The Magazine “Body Issue”

Here is what Zack Smith, Sports PR Pro who has worked with Nike, Wilson Sporting Goods, Adidas Golf, and Upper Deck, had to say about the ESPN feature:

AKA, Strikeforce (MMA gym, promoters) get huge PR play (CEO featured) w Herschel Walker’s appearance in ESPN body issue http://es.pn/byPErp

If you recall, Gina Carano was featured in the magazine last year, so that’s two Strikeforce female fighters getting quite the mainstream attention.


Strikeforce and Showtime’s Advertising Campaign Finally Reaching Audience

Thought Industry blog writes about how “Showtime Integrates Twitter Into Its Promotion of Their Strikeforce MMA Card”.

Strikeforce, Showtime’s MMA rival to the UFC juggernaut may lack the talent and promotion to attract huge PPV audiences, but nobody can knock them for taking a step towards innovation with their recent ad campaign promoting their Nick Diaz vs. KJ Noons headline event this Saturday.

What compelled me to write the post was how Twitter was integrated into the unit. Instead of driving fans of either KJ or Nick to a microsite, the ad simply asked viewers to roll over and vote who they thought would win the grudge match between the two fighters.

So far the ad seems to be eliciting not just clicks, but conversation. Conversation that may capture the attention of Twitter’s growing 18-34 year old male demographic.

The Strikeforce Diaz vs Noons II – Collision Course series videos produced by AllElbows have also had a pretty big impact on advertising the event.  It’s a great way to build up the buzz coming into the event and have received quite a few compliments from MMA fans.  The only criticism right now is that they need to get these videos out into the public much earlier, and at some point provide the whole series in a 15-20 min show which can then possibly be shown on TV spots, though I hear they will see how successful this attempt was before they announce any more plans regarding any more videos leading up to the event. Here is part 3, released on fight day.


Saturday Night Event Notes:

Weigh-Ins:

Attendance:

According to Dave Meltzer, in his great write-up about the Diaz vs Noons grudge match, he states that Saturday night’s event is expecting 8,000 fans (I am calculating 8,000-10,000 paid), which is shockingly low for an event of this magnitude hosted in their home town.  When scheduling this event, it is not known whether the San Francisco Giants making the playoffs was taken into effect, but it was brought up as possibly being a huge factor by some in the industry.  San Francisco is currently buzzing over their Giants right now, and though there is no game scheduled for Saturday night, all everyone is talking about in the Bay Area are their beloved Giants overtaking the San Diego Padres and now battling the Atlanta Braves.

Meltzer also drops the interesting tidbit that Dave Bautista was one of the people who came in as part of Nick Diaz’ corner for today’s Strikeforce weigh-ins in San Jose.  Bautista has been working on his MMA skill at Cesar Gracie’s camp, where Nick Diaz trains, so that would make sense, but the latest reports regarding Bautista fighting in Strikeforce have not been too optimistic as of late, citing no PPV or CBS card in the near future and a disagreement in pay as big hurdles preventing a deal.  At the moment, Bautista is said to be working on his movie career with a few TV roles lined up.

Twitter:

It appears that Scott Coker (twitter.com/cokersf) has started to tweet now, which if you’ve read MMAPayout before, has been a huge point of criticism, where I believe Strikeforce needs to make themselves more accessible to the media and to their audience in order to build their fanbase and goodwill with the media.  UFC and Dana White do a great job at utilizing twitter and other social media to distribute information to it’s fanbase and to also announce ticket giveaway games before an event, something that fans have shown to be very fond of and it’s also another way to build their fanbase and fan loyalty.

***

Final Note:

As you can see, a huge portion of the storylines this time around didn’t necessarily have to do directly with the Diaz vs Noons event, but more so with the direction that Strikeforce is heading and what they are planning to do with their product.  Some of these announcements are information overload and some may get overlooked, but it was essential for Strikeforce to get them all out there to announce a new beginning starting with this weekends card.  A few days later, their DVD and video game will release, and we can start to really monitor what type of an impact they will have on the Strikeforce brand.

If you look at the Strikeforce event page, this is the first time I can recall that they have 4 events booked on their websites all filled with main and co-main event participants, which also address our criticism of giving themselves enough time to promote their cards.  As it stands now, they have events booked up until the end of January as of the end of September.

As for this event, I feel that more could have been done to market Noons vs Diaz as a huge grudge match, but I felt it was a bit tamed, and possibly done in fear of any bad situation arising before the event takes place.  AllElbows and HeymanHustle’s video do a great job at promoting the fighters, which is hopefully something we can expect more in the future.

14 Responses to “Strikeforce Diaz vs Noons II: Storylines”

  1. Jason Cruz on October 9th, 2010 9:47 AM

    I am interested to see how Paul E will do in MMA. He was a creative force in wrestling, notably with ECW pre-WWE influence. It will be interesting to see how much Paul will push the envelope in MMA.

    I am always interested on knowing what the thought process is in rebranding and choosing a new logo. I like the Strikeforce new logo. Its much cleaner than the old logo. The S does remind me a little of the Sinister “S”.

  2. RJ on October 9th, 2010 10:45 AM

    You also have the USC/Stanford game the same night as this event.
    Which could contribute to the lower than normal attendance figures.

    I’m surprised how many are dismissing the fact Strikeforce has made huge strides in all aspects of their promotion from this time last year.

    They have the rest of the year already booked up with most of thew main fights for these cards already announced.
    It was a matter of only few months ago people were complaining that they don’t announce fights ahead of time enough.

    Merchandising wasn’t even mentioned with Strikeforce now they have a DVD release, The EA MMA game and Strikeforce t-shirts and sweatshirts available.

    Not to mention it looks like they’ve found a second home in St. Louis.
    Three events there in the past 18 months.

  3. jv on October 9th, 2010 10:48 AM

    Holy overly dramatic lighting Hayman.

    I can’t say I’m really feeling the “S” logo. The old one with the Eagle screamed USA so might not have played well internationally. The full “Strikeforce” logo is better but I’m not sure it’s an improvement over what they had. Is the new SF online store logo change being driven by the clothing/lifestyle company SF cut the deal with earlier in the year?

    It’s fight day and episode 3 of the “Collision Course” series still isn’t out. Are they saving it for the broadcast? I agree it should have been out way sooner.

    8,000 attendance? Wow. I have a hard time seeing a lot of cross over between baseball and MMA fans. One group are adrenaline junkies and the other group is a lot more sedate. TV audience shouldn’t get hurt to bad but it is rough if the attendance is that low. I hope a low attendance doesn’t make them to back off of doing the promotion stuff.

  4. mmaguru on October 9th, 2010 4:01 PM

    Am I missing something here? 8000 tickets would be great for an event with no real big names on it. No Fedor, Henderson, Overreem, Li, Shamrock, etc. I would consider an event with these names headlining to be a mid tier event. I would think Scott would consider 8K ticket sale a success also considering lack of major marketing.

    Overall, looking forward to the show tonight and next weeks UFC as well. Can’t go wrong with non-PPV MMA. 3 weeks in a row, WEC, SF & UFC. I’ll take it.

  5. Jose Mendoza on October 9th, 2010 6:45 PM

    jv:

    Yes, Collective Licensing International are said to be behind the brand change, new store, etc. Also, they are not completely getting rid of the old logo I was told. For example, the belts will still have the old logo for now.

    mmaguru:

    It’s their home town with a solid card, so you would expect ~10K. I will keep an eye on any late push, etc. It is a solid number though, you just expect better in their home town.

    RJ:

    Completely agree with you there. Forgot about the Standford vs USC game, which I heard is sold out. Definitely a factor.

  6. Jose Mendoza on October 9th, 2010 6:52 PM

    UPDATED:
    Part 3 of the Collision Course: Diaz vs Noons II series.

  7. Strikeforce's new gloves - Page 2 - Sherdog Mixed Martial Arts Forums on October 10th, 2010 2:51 AM

    [...] For those wanting more info on new logo, branding, and product line: Strikeforce Diaz vs Noons II: Storylines : MMAPayout.com: The Business of MMA [...]

  8. mma guru on October 10th, 2010 6:13 AM

    awesome card and fights last night. not one disappointment. this is the type of card you want on CBS. scott, i hope you learned what makes exciting fights and that is keeping guys who like to only wrestle off the main card the next time you do a CBS show.

  9. jv on October 10th, 2010 8:11 AM

    Thanks for the update Jose.

  10. Jose Mendoza on October 10th, 2010 3:10 PM

    Update:

    Strikeforce Diaz vs Noons II attendance at the HP Pavilion was said to be 7,473, which is definitely low.

    There was also an incident after the event where Nick Diaz threw a water bottle at Mayhem Miller and security had to come in and break them up as they were walking in a hallway as Mayhem was being escorted out of the arena. MiddleEasy is said to be releasing video of the incident soon…

  11. mmaguru on October 10th, 2010 4:13 PM

    Jose,
    I think 7400 fans is pretty good for the names that were on the card. Their base in San Jose seems pretty strong even for a card of this makeup. I wonder what the comps were like.

    Diaz vs Miller would do large business.

  12. Jose Mendoza on October 10th, 2010 8:20 PM

    mmaguru:

    It was their second lowest attendance ever recorded, just edging out Le vs Von Flue in 2006. This was a really busy weekend in the Bay thought. Standford, Cal, Raiders, 49′rs were all in action at home, not to mention the Giants MLB playoff fever.

    I agree with you however, that without Gina, Le, or Shamrock… the numbers will be significantly lower than what they were getting before.

  13. Paul on January 25th, 2011 11:50 PM

    I’m looking for the Strikeforce Diaz v. Noons II and the UFC Fight Night Nate Diaz v. Pellegrino DVDs. Do you know where to find these videos online? Thanks.

  14. Jose Mendoza on February 8th, 2011 3:05 AM

    Paul:

    Sorry for the late response, but Strikeforce should be releasing another DVD set with that event within the next few quarters.

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