Content trends that stood out in combat sports during 2022

Utilising non-sporting themes to amplify athlete-driven personalities further

The UFC have explored many ways to better connect with its audience. A large theme contributing to this involves Q&A sessions; the UFC decided to create a series which embraces this called No MMA Questions. The clue is in the name, MMA fighters answer questions which explore their personality; these include topics like their favourite food, places they want to travel, hobbies etc.

The above episode has accumulated over 349k+ views.

What can we learn from this?

Sports fans crave humanistic connections with their favourite personalities, and Q&A content has proven effective at delivering this.

Due to the appetite that sports fans have for this, they can use this in their content moving forward. Such as hosting regular Q&A sessions amongst their followers/subscribers. This will help expand their reach and engagement to new and current audiences.

Combining content that can be compared

It’s a no-brainer that sports fans want to feel as close as possible to the action combat sports has to offer. However, some brands across the combat sports space have taken this to another level through the above example. Combining two similar-themed videos into one via a symmetrical format allows fans to compare clips, likely boosting engagement for the brand that posted it.

What can we learn from this?

If you’re an athlete or working at a brand that represents an athlete, producing content which illustrates their growth, such as if a fighter has a bout coming up, creating a symmetrical graphic with one image representing what stage of competition they were at 1-2 years ago to now. The impact this has on the personalities audience will allow them to gain further insight into their career and learn more about who they follow.

Memes continue to keep combat sports content in high spirits

Memes are an excellent way to deliver your message in a humanistic fashion to your audience. Memes have proven to be one of the most shareable pieces of content across the web, hence why this Tweet from ONE Championship has gained strong levels of engagement.

What can we learn from this?

To build humanistic connections with your audience, memes can help with that by emphasising to your audience the sense of humour you obtain. Although ensuring the meme promotes relevance to your brand, for example, the context must fit in well with your caption.

Behind-the-scenes content

Behind-the-scenes (BTS) content is another smooth method to allow your audience to feel as close as possible to the sporting action and how moments are created. Some include capturing footage of the camerapersons in action, fighters having conversations amongst their camps, the emotions amongst fighters post-event etc.

What can we learn from this?

BTS content works well, considering the frequency that it’s used for combat sports content. Therefore, if you’re someone who represents an athlete and you’re looking to give their fans more of an insight into their lifestyle, you could organise a filming session with them while they’re training, undertaking a short-form Q&A session while they’re on the way to training or similar.

Storytelling

Storytelling can be delivered in different ways, short and long-form. Fighters are beginning to use their platforms more to illustrate their story, often delivered via long-form documentary-style videos.

What can we learn from this?

For an athlete to have a powerful impact in their sport and athletic ability being a key factor, it also comes down to their marketability, which will often be what helps sell themselves to grow their fan base. For example, when an athlete is training, using some footage and then recording a voiceover depending on the topic of discussion is an effective way to build a narrative for your audience to follow.

Published by Ash

I'm a First-Class Graduate in Sports Business Management who has worked across Local Government, Sport and the Third Sector. Throughout my career, I've developed a thriving passion to promote sport being used as a tool to bring positivity to the world we live in. This ethos has inspired me to create a website which champions this value through comprehensive online content for you to gain value from. Join me on this journey of discovering what sport can do to enhance society.

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