As befits a rising new sports phenomenon, the UFC has a cutting edge approach to social media and online marketing. Dana White has almost 1.5 million followers to his personal Twitter account and the UFC itself has almost 6 million followers and friends on Twitter and Facebook.
Today Dana White appeared at the XBox 360 E3 conference to announce a new partnership between the UFC and Microsoft's XBox 360. Cage Side Seats has the White's announcement:
"There has never been a better time to be a UFC fan. As you know, we deliver the best fights in the world, and now XBOX will revolutionize how fans experience live events on television. You'll get all the best fights, and compete with your friends...only on XBOX. Let's take a look at the innovation you're gonna see this holiday."
ESPN Page 2 spoke to White about his aggressive use of Twitter and the UFC's social media strategy:
"When we go live, the fans are always saying on the Internet, 'Oh he's such an idiot. He's got the best seat in the house, and he's always on his phone or looking at the TV,'" White said. "The reason for that is I'm watching the TV screen because I'm making sure that everything looks good on TV. I'm on my phone because I'm reading Twitter."
White is not only reading. He's responding. He's aware that the cable is out in Iowa, meaning a fan can't access the pay-per-view he paid for. Or that fans traveled all the way from England only to find out they purchased fake tickets.
"Back in the old days, this is [stuff] you wouldn't know until Monday," White said. "You'd hear all these bad things that happened during your event, and you'd be like, 'God, we got to make sure this doesn't happen next time.' ... Now, as these things are happening, I have people running around fixing all the problems that are happening that I'm reading on Twitter."
White also tells ESPN that the UFC is "working on big things for the next five years and most of them revolve around social media."
My hat is off to Dana White and the UFC for their shrewd use of social media.