Our journey with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) started in 2014.
UFC was an established rights holder in the US, building mixed martial arts into a globally popular sport.
While there was interest in EMEA, UFC’s social media audience was under-developed, with all online media dominated by US events. They also had little understanding of these audiences or how they could be engaged to increase revenue.
Seven League embedded staff within the UFC EMEA team, implementing a social media and digital marketing strategy that focused on the promotion and tickets sales of their events in this market, as well as driving audience growth and engagement.
We delivered social media activations and digital content for 17 events: (in 2014) London, Abu Dhabi, Berlin, Dublin, Stockholm; (in 2015) Stockholm, Krakow, Berlin, Glasgow, Dublin; (in 2016) London, Zagreb, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Manchester, Belfast and (in 2017) London. We also oversaw the digital campaigns to promote major pay-per-view events like UFC 196, 199, 200, 202, 204 and 205 in Europe.
Our role at UFC has covered a broad range of digital services including content strategy, planning and delivery, social media management, SEM, budgeting and target-setting, consultation on third-party platforms, paid campaign planning and execution, email marketing and social media audience acquisition. We also delivered regular reporting and event and campaign performance reports as well as research and development of country expansion plans in key markets.
We also played an international role – auditing the UFC Asia operation and providing a detailed playbook for business transformation and audience growth and, at HQ in Las Vegas, we provided counsel on global digital strategy.
We’re particularly proud of the local content formats developed around events, which leveraged UFC’s talent to grow and engage with EMEA audiences, as well as our creation and management of the UFC Europe Snapchat account during events.
For example, Dutch fighter, Gegard Mousasi, is known for being a bit of a serious individual so we asked him to read out a few jokes to see if we could make him laugh.
We have also challenged different fighters to sample the local cuisine at each event, producing a content series that was well received by fans. The videos had a total combined views of 3.1m across different social channels; and one was picked up on national television.
Another proud achievement was growing the Facebook following in EMEA by nearly 500k in 2016 through paid media campaigns. Careful research and planning, together with an agile and flexible approach, enabled us to produce the right assets that resonated well with each market that was targeted.
Thank you to the UFC management team who gave us the chance to help grow this sport and to the team members who welcomed us into their team. It has been an exciting journey and great to be a part of it.