Photo by Tracy Lee via Combat Lifestyle
From Michael David Smith responding to questions in his Twitter mail bag:
MMAConvert: See any Fedor commercials during CBS NFL games this past weekend?
No. There are still four more Sundays between now and Fedor's November 7 fight with Brett Rogers on CBS, so maybe we'll see plenty of commercials promoting Fedor during CBS NFL games, but as of right now, I think CBS is missing some opportunities to hype the fight.
Hard-core fans universally consider Fedor the best heavyweight in MMA, and many consider him the best fighter ever to fight in any weight class. But hard-core MMA fans are still a relatively small audience, and for this fight to get a good rating, CBS will need to appeal to casual MMA fans and people who have never watched MMA at all.
I think CBS needs to air plenty of commercials explaining to fans who Fedor is, and what makes him such a compelling figure. There's no better audience for those commercials thanNFL fans, but so far, those fans haven't heard a word about Fedor. I'd like to see that change soon.
This comment from the UG by Patrick Freitas - the ex-EliteXC marketing manager adds more:
the promotional value the TV networks bring may be the MOST IMPORTANT factor in a promotion's success. this is true whether we're talking UFC & SpikeTV, Strikeforce & CBS/Sho, and the WEC & VS.
when i was the marketing manager at EliteXC it always troubled me that CBS (aside from the event that followed March Madness) did a bare minumum job of promoting the brand & events. EliteXC's leadership was mostly to blame for its failure, but CBS also contributed by failing to actively promote the brand. and now it kinda looks like they're giving Strikeforce the same red-headed stepchild treatment. its not enough just to broadcast the live event...it has to be heavily promoted to the viewers first, especially with the UFC's monopoly standing in the sport. and 2-3 week out promos just dont cut it...Fedor v Rogers was announced a while ago, so there's been ample time to kickstart the campaign to make it a huge success.
SpikeTV promotes the UFC at every break. CBS cant do the same volume, but - aside from a regular promo schedule - there should at least be more of a concerted effort to cross promote, especially with CBS' sports, late night talk, and morning news programs. there's also available program inventory on the weekends that could be used for a countdown show. and there's also a complete lack of any viral campaign, which is inexcusable given the nature of the fanbase.
It would be entirely typical of a big corporation like CBS to underpromote this fight and then, should the ratings disappoint, turn around and conclude that Fedor or MMA isn't a draw.
Mark my words, Fedor could very well be a bust for Strikeforce and CBS and then go on to be a huge star with the UFC.