Sports Business Daily reports on an extensive survey done by Scarborough Sports Marketing (subscription required and recommended):
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is attracting young, wealthy, high-tech consumers, according to Scarborough Sports Marketing's first-ever look at the sport. MMA fans are defined as those adults who watched the sport on broadcast or cable TV during the past year. The six-month survey of 221,000 adults ages 18+ in 81 top U.S. markets, including every big-league city, found that MMA fans are 15% more likely than the average American adult to have a household income of at least $75,000 and 10% more likely to own a second home. MMA fans also are above the national average for current ownership of high-tech household items such as HDTVs, VOD service, video game systems and broadband Internet.
This is one of those small bits of news many fans skim over each day without a second thought, but this kind of study will do wonders for the pockets of fighters. The widespread conception of MMA fans is that they're a cross section of poor white trash and meatheads. This is nowhere near the truth. My experience in law firms alone showed me that in almost every white collar office there are a number of "closet" MMA fans who love the UFC but just don't talk about it unless they're sure someone else likes it.
This survey is a nice feather in the cap for fighter representatives. I believe Georges St. Pierre's sponsorship with Underarmor was just the first crack in the dam; mainstream sponsors are on their way.