When the UFC's new deal with Fox was first announced, one of the concerns that was raised by analysts was whether the promotions could attract new advertisers. The UFC had already signed major brands such as Harley Davidson and Burger King as sponsors, but could they bring in bigger fish? Could Fox demand big money for prime time advertising space connected to mixed martial arts on network television?
According to an article published by Adweek, the UFC has sold out all of the advertising space for the prime time UFC on Fox show this week, going so far as to turn a few advertisers away:
Despite the potential for mayhem, Fox has had no trouble selling ads in and around the fight. "We sold out all 15 units in a week," says Todd Siegel, executive vp, Fox Sports Cable Sales. "In fact, we could have sold more units, but people came to us a little late. We had to turn down a couple movie studios as well as an automotive client."
Media buyers say a 30-second spot in The UFC on Fox cost just north of $100,000. Among the marketers advertising are Anheuser-Busch, the Casio G'zOne Commando smartphone, and the U.S. Marine Corps. Two studios--20th Century Fox and Warner Bros.--have also made buys.Velasquez and Dos Santos will begin trading blows at 9:35 p.m., following a half-hour setup by host Curt Menefee, UFC president Dana White, and announcer Joe Rogan. Fox will not throw to commercial between the first and second rounds, electing instead to keep its cameras on the octagon.
Advertisers likely see this as a major opportunity. It's the UFC's first foray into network television, and the event will feature a bout for the UFC heavyweight title. Naturally, the spectacle of the event should create some allure for casual sports fans in general. Fox's promotional push for the event should have a dramatic effect as well. Those factors likely contributed to the hefty asking price, which is normally around $50,000 according to a report at MMAPayout.com.