Welcome back to Ash’s Sports Talk! I appreciate it’s been a while, but I thought I’d return with something special. Every weekend, expect a newsletter wrapping up the top pieces of fight content every week where I’ll be breaking down their impact on fan engagement and why they stand out. If you’re a marketer in the fight game, I suggest you give my blog a follow!
Paulo Costa vs Marvin Vetorri Press Conference parody
This Sunday, UFC Vegas 41 took place where Marvin Vetorri took on Paulo Costa in a 195lb catchweight fight. Ahead of this fight, short film and animation maker, Mojahed Fudailat, created a parody press conference animation of the two. The content piece captured the thoughts of Vetorri believing that Paulo Costa was drunk during a virtual interview they both did on ESPN MMA.
The video has 63k+ views, and Mojahed’s content has regularly captured the attention of key MMA figures such as Joe Rogan, Tony Ferguson, GSP, Tyron Woodley and more. As hysterical as the video appears, Mojahed’s content is a prime example of how meme marketing works. Some of his videos gain more views and engagement than original UFC highlights and press conferences.
Memes are the most engaging pieces of content online; if a brand can find an appropriate avenue to incorporate it into their fan engagement strategy, it can prove highly leverageable to entice new audiences.
Israel Adesanya’s interview with GQ Sports
The 21-1 Middleweight sat down with the sports arm of US high-end magazine, GQ Sports, where he discussed his experiences when he made his first million dollars. The 10-minute video covered Izzy’s economic environment growing up, how he spent his UFC paycheques, his thoughts on the fashion sense of other UFC fighters and more.
Israel has gradually grown into becoming one of the UFC’s biggest stars to date. He’s the first fighter to sign a sponsorship deal with a major sports brand in Puma. He’s the global brand ambassador for the betting operator, Stake.com and is responsible for headlining one of the top PPV events this year against Jan Blachowicz.
This content piece captures Izzy’s personality through the interpersonal topics he discusses. It’s also an effective solution to provide his fan base personal content to engage in while he’s not fighting in the UFC. He also maximises this opportunity by creating his own YouTube channel, FREESTYLEBENDER, which amplifies the power of modern athlete-driven marketing.
What’s Killer Bee’s favourite recovery method?
ONE Championship uploaded a short video this week asking their audience what their favourite way to recover is. Two short clips emerged with a cupping therapy video followed by ONE fighter, Killer Bee, receiving a neck massage.
Despite only a few seconds long, the clip has over 1.3m views and over 89k likes, making it one of their most engaged videos this week and throughout the month. The clip demonstrates that a sports fan’s interest goes beyond the competition element.
This is an important insight if you’re a fighter or you represent one to build engagement and awareness to your personal brand. Rather than filling your social media feed with training clips and pictures, show your audience what your training regime looks like, what therapies you go through, what your diet looks like during fight week and more.
Teofimo Lopez does the body shot challenge
Icelandic strongman, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, was caught doing a body shot challenge with professional boxer, Teofimo Lopez on Heber Cannon’s IG channel. The caption on this post is plugging energy drink brand Reign Body Fuel as it appeared to occur during a content shoot with Lopez.
Body shot challenges have proven to be an engaging piece of content in the combat sports community. Names such as Ryan Garcia and Francis Ngannou have featured in many of them.
It’s imaginable Reign Body Fuel have received numerous mentions, shares and engagement on their social channels from this one clip between Hafþór and Teofimo. This allows Reign to maximise impact by encouraging their audiences to remix the IG reel and get a challenge trending with a hashtag to enhance brand awareness.
What words were exchanged between Alvarez and Plant’s press conference scrap?
BT Sport Boxing share the close of the words exchanged between Canelo Alvarez & Caleb Plant during their press conference a few weeks ago, captured by Showtime.
This moment has been a significant piece of promotion that will likely feature in fight trailers, heated combat sports moments, compilations and memes. With this bout being only a couple of weeks away, it’s only beneficial to drive engagement and publicity to the fight.
It also re-emphasises the appetite sports fans have to feel close and personal to their favourite athletes. In this circumstance, many boxing fans were curious to hear what got Canelo triggered enough to push Caleb across the stage. Well, they now have their answer.
That’s a wrap! A mixture of fight content this week consists of athlete-driven marketing, personalised content, viral challenge content and the beauty of meme marketing. What did you find most insightful throughout this content batch?