White talks social media and drops news at conference

January 7, 2013

Dana White was a featured speaker at the BusinessNext Conference in Las Vegas this morning.  White made two newsworthy announcements including a deal with Monster Headphones and the acquisition of LA Boxing.

White covered the full gamut of his business as it related to social media. As always, White was frank, honest and admitted half-jokingly that his “PR department hates him.”  This is due to the unplanned announcements such as this morning.

First, he announced a deal with Monster, the same company that produces Beats by Dre headphones.

Secondly, he announced that the UFC acquired LA Boxing and all LA Boxings will become UFC gyms.

UPDATE 01/08/13:  Here’s the whole talk from Monday morning. (h/t Bloody Elbow)

Video streaming by Ustream

The audience of mainly UFC fans were able to ask questions.  Two of the questions ended up being a request for tickets which White obliged.  Here are some highlights:

–  “The PR department hates me,” said White of his dissemination of information via twitter.
–  Someone asked about why White did not use Google Plus.  He stated he’d take a look.  Didn’t sound like he was a proponent of it.
–  White’s not a fan of Instagram.  Stated “[i]t’s just a bunch of pictures.”
–  He stated that he will not tweet ads.  Cites the Kardashians as the best example of what he hates.  He stated that his tweets are to communicate with fans.
–  He stated that the government investigated Zuffa to determine if it was a monopoly and the government said no monopoly.
–  He took a shot at Jon Jones and called him a “diva” for tweeting that he felt like a “piece of meat.”  This was with respect to the whole cancellation of UFC 151.
–  He railed on boxing stating that it has “no brand,” and that all promoters do is “take, take, take.”  In comparing the UFC, he stated that they reinvested into the brand.
–  White stated that the UFC is a lifestyle.  Its the new martial art.

LA Boxing

Payout Perspective:

Focusing on the two announcements from today’s conference, the Monster Headphones deal will mean we see fighters wearing headphones warming up in the back at events and on their walkout to the Octagon.  Headphones is a popular commodity among the younger demo (note: I am not young but I have a pair of Sol Republics, a brand made known by swimmer Michael Phelps). Beats by Dre made this market by providing headphones to athletes and you could not watch a sporting event without an athlete wearing them before or after a game.  The UFC will try to do the same.

The UFC gym expansion is another interesting investment.  With gyms in California, New York, Hawaii and in Sydney Australia, the purchase of LA Boxing will greatly expand the gym business.  In my opinion, I think the UFC will close certain LA Boxing locations but overall the gyms will have a bigger presence across the country.  It will be interesting if it one day sells gym franchises as a result of this acquisition.

9 Responses to “White talks social media and drops news at conference”

  1. Sampson Simpson on January 8th, 2013 6:18 AM

    The fighters are the brand… just like if Anderson Silva or GSP went to Bellator.

    The fans would follow them and not the UFC brand.

  2. Machiel Van on January 8th, 2013 9:12 AM

    The fighters are what drive the brand, but White’s not wrong here; boxing does not have a brand that fans can easily identify with. Sure there’s the Top Rank and Golden Boy promotions, but those aren’t exactly brands that people rally behind. You never hear “can’t wait to watch this Top Rank event this Saturday.” Whenever I mention the UFC, it seems that people are aware that there’s a UFC event even if they don’t know who’s fighting on it.

    It’s the fighters that ultimately sell the fights, but having a high level of brand familiarity certainly doesn’t hurt.

  3. Sampson Simpson on January 8th, 2013 10:26 AM

    I don’t disagree with you Michael.

    I’m just stating that it’s not really much of an issue when it comes to the consumers. Boxing thrives organically which shows a deep-rooted interest amongst the fan base.

    With just a little marketing push it could explode.

  4. Matt C. on January 8th, 2013 1:55 PM

    I agree with a little marketing push boxing could see an uptick. To me that is the perfect example of why the UFC brand makes sense for MMA and why boxing could benefit from something similar. In boxing who is spending the money to market boxing and bring back that interest on a day to day basis. I would mention HBO to some degree does but that is about HBO boxing and subscribers.

    The UFC is the biggest marketing pusher of MMA. I don’t see anyone in boxing in a position to market boxing to the degree that the UFC markets MMA.

  5. Nick on January 8th, 2013 6:36 PM

    I think boxing suffers from having long-term direction more than lacking a brand. There are plenty of top stars with bright futures, but as a casual fan, I have never heard of a lot of challengers until they fight one of the top guys. The UFC does a great job of creating a following for a lot of fighters long before they reach the top of the food chain.

  6. Sampson Simpson on January 8th, 2013 7:31 PM

    Maybe you follow MMA. You think the average person knows who mid-level UFC man is?

    Nope.

    Same as boxing.

  7. Brain Smasher on January 8th, 2013 10:47 PM

    Who cares what the average person knows? Everyone in the world doesnt have to know who someone is for success to be achieved tool bag! Boxing doesnt and cant promote mid level guys and the UFC can and does. The top Boxers have all the money and they dont give two shits about other fighters or the sport itself. There are guys with belts who dont evn fight on tv so not even fans of boxing can follow them. By comparison the UFC has got well over 1 million viewers on FX for fighters like Travis Browne/Big Foot and Sotiropoulos/Pearson and every fighter on the rest of those cards. Those are not even ranked fighters. Every fighter in the UFC is seen by millions of fans. That is not the case for Every Boxing Promoters fighters, Every HBO fighter, every ranked fghter, or even every champion.

  8. Sampson Simpson on January 9th, 2013 9:13 AM

    And yet boxing is still the biggest combat sports draw in every country it takes place in with NO marketing.

    Think about that

  9. Brain Smasher on January 11th, 2013 2:55 AM

    Yeah mean FMR and PAcman are big? No one cares about Boxing. If they did there would be more than 2 boxers getting payed large sums of money. How many boxers can headline a 300,000 PPV buy event? 2? How any different people in the UFC have headlined a 300,000 PPV? 20?

    I guess now you have to contradict yourself and say its the UFC brand yet above you said people dont follow the brand lol. You are th eworst troll ever!

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