Survey: UFC has growth potential but some still skeptical
November 28, 2011
The Sports Business Journal released its results from its annual reader’s survey. While the UFC received some praise, the most telling result was whether sponsors should align its brand with the UFC.
According to the industry publication, of the 1,158 respondents to the question: “If you were a chief marketing officer, would you align your brand with the UFC?” 55 percent of the readers said it would not align its brand with the UFC. 28 percent of the respondent believed it would fit its demo while the other 16 percent had no opinion.
Another survey question indicates that its believed that sports sponsorship will increase slightly in the next five years.
Despite the result that many would not align its brand with the UFC, other responses were positive. Readers ranked the UFC third as a sports property/organization with the most potential growth. Of almost 1,500 respondents, 14 percent ranked the UFC behind the MLS and NHL. It also ranked fourth behind the NFL, MLB and the NHL as the most innovative property. It ranked ahead of the MLS and NBA.
While the results do not define the future of the UFC, or MMA in general, the Sports Business Journal is regarded as an informative source in the sports industry. Its read by many mainstream sports people and I would gather that they are just being introduced to the world of mixed martial arts. The UFC-Fox deal certainly will help with the education and we will see how it will do in next year’s survey. While the UFC is receiving recognition for its growth potential and use of new media, it still seems as though skeptics are concerned about the violence in the sport. This could hurt with the future of landing mainstream sponsors despite its ties with Fox. With the belief that sports sponsorship will increase its spending in the future, the biggest hurdle that the UFC much face if it is to garner sponsors is educating a mainstream audience about its sport.