May 16, 2013
The Sports Business Journal reports on Georges St. Pierre’s health and fitness app as the latest in his portfolio of sponsorships. In addition to his recently released book, “The Way of the Fight,” GSP has been tabbed to do voiceover work for the animated film, “Monsters University.”
GSP remains busy despite successfully defending his title last month against Nick Diaz. The app comes due to the collaboration between GSP’s agents at CAA and developer Zolmo. The app, named “Touchfit” is $6.99 and GSP has an equity stake in the venture although specifics were not mentioned.
GSP’s agent at CAA, Nez Balelo, detailed the difficulty he had at first in finding sponsors for GSP as he had to educate them on who he is and what he did. The article notes that Gatorade and Under Armour were the two big deals that separated GSP from other MMA fighters in terms of sponsorship.
In addition, TheStar.com (of Toronto) reports that he will voice a character in the Quebec French language version of the prequel to Monsters, Inc.
The GSP brand continues to roll. The app coincides with the release of his book, “The Way of the Fight.” GSP’s voicework on the Quebecois/French Canadian version of “Monsters University” is his second film this year as he was tabbed to play a villain in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” slated for release next year. GSP has carved out a solid portfolio of work that will eventually carry him to his post-UFC career.
May 7, 2013
Welcome to a special edition of Payout Perspective where we take a look at Floyd Mayweather’s latest fight since last May as he took on Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Mayweather fights technical masterpiece against Guerrero
It wasn’t exciting but Mayweather showed that he still has it. While Guerrero had his moments, Mayweather took a bulk of the rounds to win by unanimous decision.
One might have thought a change in trainers from Roger Mayweather to Floyd Sr. might have hurt. Aside from forgetting his mouthpiece before a round, there were no issues.
Floyd now has a choice of challengers set for September 14th in Vegas with the prospect of a huge fight with Canelo Alvarez coming May 2014.
Mares takes out friend De Leon
The best fight of the PPV main card was the penultimate fight of the night which featured two friends with the same manager fighting. Abner Mares knocked out Ponce De Leon in the 9th round. Arguably, Mares is the best 126 pound fighter out there outside of Nonito Donaire (a fight that was nixed due to a stall in negotiations) or Guillermo Rigondeaux (who defeated Donaire in March).
UFC fighters should look at these fighters as they put aside their friendship to meet.
Attendance and gate
According to Dan Rafael of ESPN, attendance was a sellout at 15,880 fans and a gate of $9.9 million (via Kevin Iole). The numbers are slightly better than Mayweather’s September 2011 against Victor Ortiz (13,364/$9M).
Promotion of the Fight
This was the first fight Mayweather has had under his deal with Showtime and it appeared that he was on his best behavior to show CBS/Showtime executives he was worth the money.
The only real controversial beef was Ruben Guererro’s tirade over Floyd Mayweather and Sr.’s response. Aside from this flare-up, there was a generated “green screen” trash talk sessions between the two fighters early on but nothing as the fight grew closer.
Mayweather made an appearance during CBS’ Final Four to start the ball rolling for the fight. Showtime had a four part All Access show which was widely available online for those not subscribers of Showtime. CBS also featured Mayweather in a 1 hour special the Saturday before the fight. That documentary did poorly as it was last in its timeslot among network shows.
Aside from the “May Day” commercials, the Mayweather fight was even promoted on room keys and “Do Not Disturb” signs in the MGM Grand.
The Audience Network showed the Mosley-Mayweather fight and the Aydin-Guerrero fight the preceding the weigh-ins to get fans ready for Saturday.
Mayweather will make $32 million from Saturday’s fight while Roberto Guerrero will make $3 million. The $32 million reported to the Nevada State Athletic Commission does not include the ancillary money Mayweather (and possibly Guerrero to a lesser extent) will make from PPV buys, closed circuit revenues, etc.
O’Reilly Auto Parts and Corona were the two key sponsors for the fight. O’Reilly did promotions within its stores and Corona provided promos in-stores where Corona was sold. I don’t believe that there were discounts on the PPV as is customary where Tecate promotes events.
ATT, Valvoline and Star Trek’s “Into Darkness” were sponsors on the mat and above the ring.
As is tradition, Mayweather did not wear any sponsors on his trunks for his fight although he did have Reebok ring shoes. He also wore Reebok gear during the Showtime All Access show.
Roberto Guerrero had multiple sponsors on including Shoe Palace which was the most visible of sponsors during the All Access show. He also had Brabble.com on the front of his shorts as well – a social media video sharing site. He also wore a “God is Great” shirt to the ring which had sponsor California Superstores on the back.
Odds and ends
In addition to PPV and closed circuit, the fight was shown in theaters via NCM Fathom which is the same company the UFC partners with to show its fights in movie theaters.
I was impressed with Paulie Maglignaggi’s television analysis. I haven’t seen him before and thought he brought more info than most experts. Former MMA announcer Mauro Ranallo did an impressive job on the call too. During the survey of stars in the crowd, Ranallo called Neil Patrick Harris’ character on How I Met Your Mother (sidenote: can that guy meet his wife already to end the series) Barry Stinson instead of Barney Stinson. Ranallo actually corrected himself later in the broadcast. I think since CBS is paying for it, might want to get the character names right.
How did the promotion of the fight compare with an HBO promotion? The traditional all access shoulder programming was distributed freely online (i.e., if you looked for it you could legally see it for free) as opposed to the multiple showings of HBO’s 24/7 on CNN and other Time Warner networks. The production was different and I thought the announcing team overall was better than HBO’s usual cast.
Dan Rafael and Kevin Iole (via Bad Left Hook) are both reporting that the PPV buys may be under a million which would be considered a disappointment considering its the first Mayweather fight in a year. Perhaps the lack of buzz, the lack of name-worthy opponent and Mayweather’s lack of brashness attributed to poor PPV buys. Of course, the practical aspect of a $70 PPV to watch just one fight probably contributed to the poor sales. We will see what this means for the future of what Sh
May 3, 2013
The Sports Business Journal ran an article on Floyd Mayweather’s new promotional partner, Showtime, in lieu of his upcoming fight Saturday. The article addressed how CBS has boosted the promotion of his upcoming fight.
The allure of expanding the reach through promotion of his fights on the CBS network may have enticed Mayweather to switch from HBO to Showtime. Mayweather made an appearance during The Final Four to promote Saturday’s fight. Last Saturday in prime time, the network ran a one hour documentary dedicated to the fighter featuring many notable names including Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson praising Mayweather.
CBS has utilized its network, radio, interactive and outdoor divisions to promote the fight. While the Mayweather camp had a profitable relationship with Showtime, it thought that Mayweather’s fights could have been marketed to a broader audience.
The article also stated that Corona and O’Reilly’s Auto Parts were heavily promoting the fight with point of sale promotions and in-store promotions. In addition, the fight can be seen in movie theaters.
The LA Times’ Larry Pugmire tweeted that Mayweather’s opponent, Robert Guerrero will make $3 million for fighting Saturday. In comparison Victor Ortiz, Mayweather’s last opponent made $2 million. No word on how much Mayweather for this fight although it was reported he made upwards of $40 million for the Ortiz fight.
Its an understatement to write that Mayweather boxing promotions are distinctly different from how the UFC promotes its fighters. Mayweather’s success has allowed him the opportunity to go into business for himself. He partners with Golden Boy Promotions but he fronts a lot of the marketing dollars in order to receive a lot on the back end via multiple revenue streams (i.e., PPV, closed circuit, movie theatres showing the fight, gate, foreign sales for his fights and sponsorship). The NY Times had a great article detailing this business model prior to his fight with Victor Ortiz.
Mayweather’s documentary on CBS Saturday night ranked the lowest for the 8-9pm network time slot with a 1.73M viewer average. Manny Pacquiao jumped from HBO to Showtime for one fight against Shane Mosley and the network showed its All Access programming on the network. For this fight, CBS has not shown the show but it has been available freely online.
Yet, the the marketing for the event may be viewed by more eyes due to the network influence. Will that turn into PPV buys and attendance? We will see Saturday night.
April 30, 2013
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This time we take a look at UFC 159 from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey where Jon Jones defended his Light Heavyweight title against Chael Sonnen.
Jones takes care of Sonnen, now must heal toe
It was the outcome that most had expected. Despite Sonnen’s promos, Jones did what was needed to stop Sonnen with a few seconds left in Round 1. It was a good thing, because if he didn’t, it would have been interesting what may have happened for Round 2. Jones could not have gone out there with his toe pointed in an opposite direction.
Now, the question is how long will Jones be out and who will be next for him. Anderson Silva? Lyoto Machida? Alexander Gustafsson? We will see.
For the “Gangster,” I hope to see him in a suit as an analyst.
Nelson KOs Kongo
Jones does what he does and Nelson does what he does – knock people out. While Nelson asked for a title shot, it’s likely he gets at least one more fight before there’s serious consideration.
Bisping beats Belcher after eye poke
Michael Bisping showed once again why he should receive a title shot. The TUF alum beat up Alan Belcher but the fight was stopped after a nasty eye poke which was the second gruesome thing on the PPV next to Jones’ toe.
Bisping must now wait in line once again for a shot.
Attendance and Gate
As reported earlier, attendance at UFC 159 placed second in terms of UFC events at the venue with Hardy vs. GSP being first. UFC 159 reported attendance of 15,227 fans for a $2.7 million gate.
This event’s bonuses were $65,000 each as opposed to the UFC standard of $50,000. As reported earlier the bonuses were as follows:
Fight of the Night: Healy vs. Miller
KO of the Night: Nelson
Submission of the Night: Healy
-The Octagon included the usual sponsors: TapouT, MetroPCS, Toyo Tires, Xyience, UFC Gym, Harley Davidson, Dodge, MusclePharm, Alienware, UltimatePoker.net and Bud Light. It also included local sponsor Modell’s Sporting Goods.
-UFC Gym sponsored the prep point. UFC Fit was also prevalent last week at UFC on Fox 7. The move into fitness is a reason that Reebok may be a potential sponsor. Could this be one of the reasons why Dana White met with Reebok officials? Also interesting that a potential Reebok deal may happen and just a few months ago Rampage Jackson could not wear Reebok logos in the Octagon for his last fight.
-Representatives from Doritos were also present as it may have a potential interest in sponsorship.
-Ronda Rousey was featured in a MetroPCS commercial shown during the Prelims. It was also revealed that she signed a one year deal with Xyience
-Jones was sponsored by Nike and had his signature shoes released the week before the event. The shoes sold out quickly although there were limited quantities. Jones actually threw out his shoes to the weigh-in crowd on Friday. He also wore Monster headphones, another UFC official sponsor, at the weigh-ins, to the ring and even when he sat on the stool being interviewed post-fight.
-Sonnen wore a TapouT blue ring robe with a Modell’s patch on the arm. It was reminiscent of boxers or pro wrestlers and appropriate for Sonnen.
-An ironic sponsor for Sonnen was VA Mortgage Lending. As you may recall, Sonnen plead guilty to money laundering in a mortgage fraud case during his realtor days in Oregon. While Sonnen’s actions were not related to VA Mortgage Lending, its still strange that you would want to have it as a sponsor because it reminds people of what happened in the past.
-Phil Davis had a couple throwback sponsors: Affliction and Lugz
When you talk about hype, Chael Sonnen comes to mind. The Ultimate Fighter was to serve as the 12 week promo piece for this fight but it was actually Sonnen’s banter the week or so after the TUF Finale that served as the real promotion for UFC 159.
I really enjoyed the UFC Countdown show this time around especially the Alan Belcher-Michael Bisping back and forth. Perhaps, Bisping can pick up the “King of MMA Smacktalk” when Chael Sonnen retires.
This card produced a couple interesting articles on the issue of race. Tim Marchman wrote an article on Deadspin and Tomas Rios wrote one for The Pacific Standard which explores the issue and whether Chael Sonnen uses race to gain fans. We explore the public relations aspects of Sonnen here. When challenged on the subject of race on ESPN’s Dan LeBatard show, Sonnen deflected the direct issue and seemed genuinely uncomfortable about talking about it. This was something unusual for Sonnen who was on in each appearance he did for the promotion of UFC 159.
Odds and Ends
- Darren Rovell sent a tweet Saturday night which stirred the pot for defenders of the UFC. Rovell indicated that the UFC may have lost its “edge” based on the fact he knew someone that purchased a ticket for $50 with a face value of $553. UFC PR’s Dave Sholler tweeted defending the UFC and its attendance indicating that it mattered and then Dana White sent a tweet professing that its numbers are improving and would prove it by sending it to the ESPN Sports Biz guy. We will see if Rovell gets that information. We’ll have more on this interesting story later.
- The card was deemed “cursed” by Joe Rogan for the various stoppages due to injury. This started with two stoppages due to injury during the Prelims and continued with Alan Belcher’s eye poke and then Jon Jones’ toe. And of course, we get a full on brawl in the stands caught on camera during Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA.” No word on the deep voiceover between rounds during Bisping-Belcher but it seemed fitting for what happened during the night.
- Sarah McMann v. Sheila Gaff was aired on the prelims twice on FX as a result of filler. But, the fight was the first women’s fight not hyped for the fact it was a women’s fight in the UFC. McMann disposed of Gaff quickly.
- Leonard Garcia-Cody McKenzie was the only fight not aired. McKenzie indicated he was going to take some time off for personal reasons. Garcia may be on his way out of the UFC.
The card was not as interesting on paper as last week’s UFC on Fox 7 and it played out that way in reality. Sonnen did his usual work to hype the fight but many believed that it was a mismatch from the start. The unusual issues during the card confirmed its demise as probably one of the strangest in some time. Although Nelson’s KO and Healy’s submission were highlights, the rest of the night proved so-so. A buy rate of 500K would be a success here and many probably bought it because they were fans of Sonnen and/or Jones as the supporting card lacked intriguing matchups.
April 29, 2013
UFC fighters Jamie Varner and Johny Hendricks have entered into a partnership with Reebok in which each will compete at The Spartan Race May 18th in Burnet, Texas. In addition, UFC head Dana White indicated that he met with Reebok heads Monday in what may be a sponsorship deal with the UFC.
Varner and Hendricks have a trip planned to Reebok Headquarters for some product research and development. Their agent, Oren Hodak at KO Reps, stated that both fighters were excited to join forces with the apparel giant.
On Saturday, Dana White indicated that there was a possibility that the UFC and Reebok could enter into a sponsorship agreement (via MMA Junkie). White tweeted he had a meeting with Reebok reps today.
A Reebok sponsorship with the UFC could be interesting and a step in the right direction when it comes to blue chip sponsorships. It is still unknown if Reebok will become an “official” sponsor or whether there are plans for additional activation. For Varner and Hendricks, the deal coincides with their involvement in The Spartan Race, an event sponsored by Reebok.
April 24, 2013
Ronda Rousey has signed a one year sponsorship agreement with official UFC sponsor Xyience. The monetary terms of the deal were deemed confidential.
Via Xyience press release:
Rousey will appear in advertising, on point-of-purchase materials and on the brand’s website. She will also make appearances at beverage trade and consumer events.
“Ronda’s excellence in athletic performance is only part of what makes her a huge inspiration to athletes and fans,” explains John Lennon, XYIENCE’s president. “She is a fearless agent of change within MMA, whose passion for her sport and dedication to achieving her goals embodies the spirit of our brand’s philosophy: Power to Win. We are proud to be associated with such a talented and articulate athlete.”
According to Lennon, XYIENCE Xenergy has attracted a large number of female consumers – approximately one-third of its consumer base. “According to research that we conducted in early 2012, females’ preferences for Xenergy included its superior flavor and the fact that it is sugar- and calorie-free. Ronda is an excellent spokesperson who will be an integral part of XYIENCE and communicating our brand message to this growing audience.”
Rousey’s in Octagon sponsors in her UFC debut was the UFC and Xyience. The announcement makes this official. Its likely that Xyience will utilize Rousey more so than most of its male UFC fighters. It will be interesting to see what other sponsors Rousey will obtain. One has to think that she’d pick up some more mainstream sponsors considering her retention of a Hollywood agency and the publicity she’ll have with the upcoming TUF series on FS1 in September.
April 18, 2013
FighterXFashion reports that Nike will be releasing shoes and shirts for UFC Light Heavyweight Champion John “Bones” Jones this Friday. Shoes will be released in limited quantities at select NikeTowns in New York and Las Vegas and online at Nike.com.
Jones is one of three UFC fighters with a Nike contract and is the only fighter to have his gear released for public consumption.
It will be interesting to see how sales of Jones gear will do and whether the sales will determine if the swoosh will look to other UFC athletes to sponsor for future retail opportunities. The hope for Nike is to gain some momentum for Jones’ upcoming title defense so fans will be wearing those t-shirts in the crowd at UFC 159.
March 23, 2013
Chris Camozzi made some headlines pre-UFC 158 with a blog post which outlined a pattern of low offers made by sponsors. Camozzi called out the fighters and managers that take low offers which lower the standard for everyone.
Camozzi wrote that despite UFC 158 being a big card it did not mean a windfall when it comes to sponsorship. His blog post, found on his web page, did not request the UFC do something about the lowball sponsors offers or the sponsors to cease its tactics but the fighters to turn down such low offers. As an example, he cited that a couple years ago a walkout shirt could make $10K if a fighter appeared on the main card of a PPV. He stated that for UFC 158 he was offered $3K.
In the same post, Camozzi indicated that he is against a union as that is a “lazy” way for allowing another to set a baseline. He called for up and coming fighters not to take low offers from sponsors. He states that he turned down more money at UFC 158 to make the point. He also reminded fighters that the sponsors paid between 5 and 7 figures for “permission” from the UFC to have ads displayed on fighters and its the sponsors that need the fighters not the other way around.
Camozzi’s post is interesting as he’s requesting other fighters to “leave money on the table” in order to take a stand. This sounds good but for the present conditions in the UFC, it’s a hard proposition to follow. In a crowded fighter roster, one loss could spell the end of your UFC career. From an up and coming fighter’s perspective, if you do not capitalize now, you may never have that chance. If you are a manager, one would hope you are trying to get as many sponsors as you can for your fighter. But, if you are on the prelims, one can imagine it being harder to find sponsors. So, if posed with an offer that is less, do you take it or turn it down waiting for a better offer? An offer that may never come.
Camozzi does make a point. At times, the UFC will be making more money from its sponsor fee than the fighters will from the sponsors. Sponsors need fighters to advertise their brand and fighters should be compensated accordingly.
One of the problems is that UFC production has cut walkouts which curbs the amount of time a walkout shirt is seen on television. On FX, Fuel and Fox shows, some fights are cut to where the fight banner is barely seen and the fighter doesn’t have his shirt on. From this perspective, the amount of time seen by a viewing audience has gone down.
It will be interesting to see if anyone takes Camozzi’s call for fighter solidarity on this issue. It would be a hard thing to do for a young fighter with an uncertain future. But, Camozzi is bringing up issues that will affect a fighter’s future.
March 20, 2013
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This time we take a look at UFC 158 from the Belle Centre in Montreal where GSP defended his welterweight title against Nick Diaz.
GSP dominates Diaz
In a much anticipated match, Georges St. Pierre controlled Nick Diaz for 5 rounds and earned the unanimous decision. Diaz and GSP shared pleasantries after the fight in which Diaz once again stole the show with the post-fight Octagon interview by inferring that it seemed like GSP knew his game plan and that he was retiring.
It was nice to see Diaz raise GSP’s hand when the final horn sounded and for GSP to put over Diaz. Of course, this was sullied with Nick Diaz as he later stated he wanted a rematch and that he was not impressed with GSP’s punching power.
Hendrix stakes claim to No. 1 Contender slot
Johny Hendrix used a mix of wrestling takedowns and his trademark left hand to turn back Carlos Condit to earn the next shot against GSP. The fight displayed the high level of competition that the UFC wishes it had in every main event. Hendrix proved that he should be the next in line to challenge GSP.
Despite losing 2 in a row, Condit is still in the upper echelon of the welterweight division.
Ellenberger stops Marquardt
In another welterweight matchup, Jake Ellenberger showed his power as his stopped Nate Marquardt. Ellenberger’s impressive victory likely catapults him to one or two fights away from a title shot.
Attendance, gate and bonuses
We listed the attendance and gate here. UFC 158 ranked fourth among UFC events at the Bell Centre. Of course, the preceding events were not too bad despite what people think of how poor the undercard may be. I think people go to see the people at the top of the card. Just my opinion.
Only two bonuses were given out since there were no submission of the night. Each received $50,000.
Condit-Hendricks – Fight of the Night
Jake Ellenberger – KO of the Night
Promotion of the Fight
Two Words: Nick Diaz. Two More: Wolf Tickets
We talked about the Media Relations of Nick Diaz previously but his appearance at the teleconference and press conference for UFC 158 was stuff of media magic in a twisted sort of way. Diaz’s unfiltered stream of unconscious talk went from the informed (a sermon on changes in MMA), to the ridiculous (accusing GSP of steroid use) to the unknown (wolf tickets). Diaz did not disappoint with his post-fight comments.
I sort of felt like Joe Rogan needed to help Diaz out with the post-fight Octagon interview as he could tell that Diaz did not want to be interviewed. Still, its Rogan’s job to get the most out of the interview and get out. It seemed to trail in an uncomfortable sort of way.
A UFC Primetime was thought to happen for 158 but Diaz no-showed the scheduled interviews for the shows. This had to anger White as he spent a lot of money on producing a show that never occurred.
Still, the usual mundane teleconference and press conferences became musts to see what Diaz would do or say. For GSP, it looked and sounded like this was all wearing him down. You could also see it as Diaz rattling him but at times GSP had the look as though he didn’t know what was going on. Carlos Condit and Johny Hendricks had to wonder why they were asked to come to the conferences when they barely said anything.
Despite the lack of the Primetime show, the UFC Countdown show did its usual job of hyping the fighters.
Meanwhile, the UFC Prelims did very well on FX.
Boston Pizza, Alienware and The History Channel’s new show “Counting Cars” were new addition in the Octagon along with regular sponsors, Harley Davidson, Ultimate Poker, Toyo Tires, Dodge Dart, TapouT, Xyience, Musclepharm and Bud Light.
The broadcast had a preview of the “Counting Cars” show. Anyone else think it was actually about counting cars.
GSP was sponsored by Affliction and Hayabusa. He wore an Affliction shirt and a Hayabusa Gi going into the Octagon. For those like myself that were wondering, Affliction is a lifestyle brand whereas Hayabusa is considered an MMA training brand. It appears that neither brand paid for exclusive rights to GSP. Interesting that GSP’s cornerman, Firas Zahabi has his own deal with Headrush.
Recently we spoke with Elie Deshe of VFD Marketing who is the marketing firm for Nick Diaz. He indicated that despite what people may think of Diaz, he doesn’t have a problem with getting sponsors. As you could tell from Saturday, he had a ton of sponsors on his shorts (more than usual I think), despite just wearing a Stockton pullover to both the weigh-ins and fight.
Sponsor Instaloans was prevalent on many fighters. Some had the logo placed on the hips which I thought was interesting placement.
Johny Hendricks participated in some good will by auctioning off some of his gear for the Wounded Warrior project. He also sent out a pic (h/t: FighterxFashion) of his fight shorts which shows a bevy of sponsors including Bass Pro Shops, Wild Wing, Instaloan, Alienware, Sannation, TRX, MGR Construction Services all on his Ecko Shorts.
Its interesting that MGR Construction Services is involved in MMA sponsorship. It even has a tab on the front page of its web site.
Chris Camozzi made some news by writing a blog post in which he called for UFC fighters to turn down lowball offers from sponsors in order to get what they deserved. We’ll write about his later but its an interesting take on the state of sponsorships. It was interesting that he had two black pieces of tape over each shoulder on his walkout shirt. Perhaps a problem with that sponsor.
Tax woes for Diaz. What is becoming a story after 158 is not what happened in the Octagon but once again Diaz’s comments. He indicated that he hasn’t paid taxes and may go to jail. The comments took everyone off guard. Cesar Gracie indicated on The MMA Hour that Nick has paid taxes and that while his brother Nate has an accountant, Nick has not followed suit. His comments created a mainstream buzz and many brought up the name Wesley Snipes. Hopefully, Nick will seek some accounting help and straighten everything out with the IRS. Certainly, announcing not paying taxes may make one susceptible to an audit.
What’s next for GSP? Although I initially thought he would fight Anderson Silva this November at Madison Square Garden, it looks like that Johny Hendricks may get the shot.
Ronda Rousey on the next TUF. Yes, we could not stay away from mentioning that Ronda Rousey will coach men and women on the next season of TUF. An obvious move to grab mainstream fans and take advantage of their asset (Rousey). We’ll see if this will garner ratings as the UFC has tried everything else. In order to pull some ratings for its Prelims show, the UFC waited until the end of the show to make the announcement.
Odds and Ends
- The Mike Ricci-Collin Fletcher fight might have been on PPV as a favor to GSP and the Tri-Star Gym. I do not know why else it would be on the main card and not Patrick Cote. Speaking of Fletcher, he’s someone that could give you nightmares by just his appearance.
- Interesting to hear that there was an argument in the back before the main event that Diaz’s camp claimed there was an issue with GSP’s gloves. Where was Naazim Richardson when you needed him?
- Nick also inferred that there may have been a “mole” in his camp that told GSP his gameplan. Unlikely. Regardless, it wasn’t the reason he lost.
- Did the UFC change the promo poster after Diaz complained of his pic on it?
- Best moment of the post-UFC 158 interviews was the Fuel post-fight where GSP was seen caught off guard and eating pizza while being interviewed.
- Nick Diaz camp posted a video on YouTube of him hitting a speed bag for 23 minutes. Two questions: why did they post it and why did I watch the whole thing.
- Dana White and Vince McMahon could have had a match at Wrestlemania according to White. We’ll have more on this in The Wrestling Post later this week.
- Did anyone else feel like Diaz was going to slug GSP after the fight because he was being too nice? The scene post-fight reminded me of pro wrestling where everyone is a friend and then someone turns.
According to initial reports, the PPV buys were strong. Dave Meltzer had filed a Certification in the Bellator-Eddie Alvarez case where he believed that buys for UFC 158 would range between 750K to 850K PPV buys. Despite what you think of his style and that he hasn’t finished a fight in years, GSP is still the king of the UFC PPV since Brock Lesnar left. As many reports indicate, it will likely hover around Silva-Sonnen II range due to the added heat brought by Nick Diaz. We could see it hitting 900K PPV buys.
March 11, 2013
Toyo Tires has announced it has renewed its sponsorship agreement with the UFC. The extension through 2013 includes an expanded presence across the UFC’s multiple platforms.
Via press release:
“The UFC continues to be an incredible success story and has proven to be an outstanding marketing partner for Toyo Tires through the years,” said Amy Coleman, senior director of marketing, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. “The UFC provides a worldwide marketing platform for Toyo Tires that has no seasonality and one of the largest, most socially-engaged fan bases in the world. We look forward to continued growth as we embark on another exciting year with the UFC and our mutual fans.”
“We are proud of the strong partnership that we have built with Toyo Tires since 2007 and we look forward to the continued growth of our relationship,” said Michael Mossholder, Vice President of Global Marketing Partnerships for UFC. “Both brands are driven to perform and show desire to excel in everything we do. We always look to partner with premium brands and category leaders.”
The partnership includes an expanded presence for Toyo Tires across UFC’s partner networks, FUEL TV and FX, as well as pay-per-view broadcasts. Toyo Tires will have fully integrated campaigns and digitally driven national promotions on UFC.com that include digital banners, video features and home page takeovers. UFC.com averages more than 6.7 million unique visitors per month worldwide and continues to be a top destination for UFC coverage and behind-the-scenes access.
Toyo Tires will also continue to reach UFC fans through experiential marketing activities such as having a presence at UFC tailgate parties and autograph signings. The Toyo Tires 80-foot big rig display continues to be hit at UFC tailgates where a wide variety of custom vehicles are on display to show off the applications for the full line of Toyo Tires products. The big rig display is expected to make several appearances during 2013 including UFC Fan Expo and Fight Week, scheduled for July.
Toyo Tires also leverages its relationship with the UFC through athlete autograph signings and meet and greets with fans. The Toyo Tires booth at the 2012 SEMA Show featured three days of autograph signings and appearances by over 10 UFC superstars. UFC athletes affiliated with Toyo Tires include bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, middleweight Mark Munoz and lightweight Anthony Pettis.
If the company sees value in its sponsorship, it makes sense for longtime sponsor Toyo Tires to continue with the UFC. Notably, Toyo Tires has a deal with Anthony “Showtime” Pettis. Pettis dons the company’s logo in the ring and appears on its behalf outside of it. He’s billed to take on Jose Aldo in one of the more anticipated matches this summer. Toyo Tires will likely take advantage of the hype behind the fight. WIth the expanded presence, we shall see the logo at more UFC events.