Safe Auto Insurance becomes official UFC sponsor
January 19, 2011
MMA Payout had the opportunity to talk to Safe Auto Insurance about its recent move to become an official sponsor for the UFC. Safe Auto Insurance is the only insurance company that is a sponsor of the UFC.
As MMA Payout reported last year (here and here), Safe Auto Insurance began sponsoring fighters in late 2010 and discussed with the UFC about the possibility of becoming an official UFC sponsor. Elie Deshe, Vice President of Emerging Media for Safe Auto Insurance stated that it paid a fee to the UFC to become an official sponsor but the partnership with the UFC is worth it.
The official sponsorship deal began January 1st at UFC 125 and covers all of 2011. Safe Auto will appear on mats and pole pads on eight of the upcoming UFC cards. Most of the appearances would be on UFC Fight Nights although Safe Auto’s presence would be at UFC 127.
The negotiations to become an official UFC sponsor were swift. “A deal was done fairly quickly,” Deshe said. “(The sponsorship with the UFC) shows a level of seriousness from our company.”
Safe Auto believes that it is uniquely positioned as a sponsor of the UFC as it is not a clothing manufacturer, supplement maker or beer company. It is more mainstream as most people will need an insurance company.
In addition to being an official sponsor of the UFC, Safe Auto exclusively sponsors UFC fighters. Some of the fighters it has sponsored include Stephan Bonnar, Jake Ellenberger, Thiago Silva and Clay Guida. It will sponsor main event participant Melvin Guillard this Saturday at UFC’s Fight for the Troops. Safe Auto’s main purpose of the sponsorship is to promote its website, Safeauto.com. “When you see us on the fighters, it will point people to the web site,” explained Deshe. Since Safe Auto operates in 14 states, the web site allows those interested to go to the website. “Unlike ads, this gets seen in all 50 states. We are able to see where (web) traffic picks up from other states.”
Deshe says that one of the ways it measures the success of the sponsorship is through web site traffic. From this information, he has a good sense that people are noticing Safe Auto.