UFC offers bonuses under new Twitter policy
May 15, 2011
The UFC announced this past week at its UFC Fighter Summit that it will offer bonuses to fighters using their twitter accounts. MMA Fighting reports that fighters will receive bonuses based on the number of their followers and the creativity of their tweets.
As most have pointed out, the new policy comes with some risk as other leagues have found out regarding the downside of twitter (see e.g., Rashard Mendenhall, Reggie Bush).
Via MMA Fighting:
Starting June 1, UFC and Strikeforce fighters will be divided into four categories, based on how many Twitter followers they currently have. At the end of each quarter, three fighters from each category will be awarded a $5,000 bonus. The three winners will be based on who has gained the most followers since the start of the quarter, who gained the highest percentage of new followers and who wrote the most creative tweets. White will be the judge of the last category.
At the conclusion of a full calendar year, the UFC will end up paying $240,000 a year to its fighters for their Twitter usage.
This is another step by the UFC in embracing social media. Its a creative way to actively request fighters to promote themselves while passively promoting the UFC. The twitter policy gives the fighters a chance to build their own brand while promoting the UFC. There are obvious pitfalls as well as having tweets taken out of context. UFC head Dana White has had twitter feuds with fans and fighters (see Tito Ortiz).
I surmise that the UFC required the fighters attend some “social media seminar” to educate the fighters on twitter (i.e., refrain from tweeting on controversial topics such as politics, religion, racist remarks). Also, erasing tweets does not erase them (see Matt Hasselback). It will be interesting to see if there will be more twitter feuds between fighters. That could be entertaining…or annoying.
Overall, a good way to incentivize fighters to help out in the promotion of the UFC.