The Big 3 Series: Websites Part III

Posted: August 16, 2010 in Marketing, PR, Social Media, UFC

…and finally the last piece of The Big 3 Series on websites comes around.  With Bellator and STRIKEFORCE already under review, the only site left is that of the UFC.  I almost wish I had started with this brand first as they have now undergone a complete website renovation.  If you haven’t checked it out yet, here is the release announcing their official stance on the new site. The quote at the top of this announcement states their desires pretty clearly:

“We are gonna build this thing into the best web site in sports.” — Dana White

Well, let’s take a look and see how close they are to this goal.

Site Address: www.ufc.com

The Criteria for review:

Design/Ease-of-Use: The new design is very eye-popping and sleek.  There was definitely a lot of time and energy put into to ensure this new site was crisp and clear for viewers.  The old site, although a personal fave of mine, tended to draw your eyes to the UFC PPV backgrounds and not the site itself.  This go-‘round the site has a much better integrated feel so you can focus more clearly on its content.  The navigation bar at the top is very useful, but at my first few attempts of reviewing the site felt like it took more clicks to move forward than with the old site. I’m hoping this is something that is rectified with time.  There is a bottom navigation bar under the videos at the top of the page that is also very slick and easier to manage than the full top site bar.

Multi-Media: The UFC has always been good with it use of multi-media (images, video, etc), however this new site takes it to the extreme.  There is a much heavier emphasis on video.  In fact, on top of all the interviews they have also added a new program to the site which I reviewed last week. According to UFC.com The “UFC Ultimate Insider,” is a web show hosted by Octagon Girl Arianny Celeste. The Ultimate Insider runs Thursdays and announces UFC news as it happens, features exclusive interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, videos and other content exclusive to UFC cameras.

Social Integration: Although I know the site boasts more social integration, I feel as though the site took a dip here.  I know the capabilities are there, but they don’t seem as up-front and clear as the previous site.  The twitter and forum feeds are buried at the bottom of the homepage, and I don’t see references to the other social sites anymore.  (And the UFC has plenty across Youtube, Facebook, etc.)

Interaction: This is the only area of the UFC’s social program that I’m disappointed with.  The company has a strong presence across its social networks but never directly interacts with users.  There are no official UFC comments in streams or on message boards.  I’m not calling for a police-state, but there should be some level of interaction to let fans know they are watching and listening.  Another reason would be to cut down on spam.  As I scrolled through the articles on the site I was very disappointed with the level of spam comments that are allowed into the site and not checked.

What I liked best: My favorite part of this site continues to be its news feed.  It does a fantastic job of keeping fans up to date with both articles from mainstream media but also from its internal staff.

What I liked least: The social drop.  My biggest complaint falls with their lack of interaction in the comment fields and inability to keep out spam.  Community management is becoming more and more important to consumer facing organizations.  I hope this is something the UFC rectifies soon.

Is it the best site in sports? I’m not so sure. But it certainly has the potential.

What do you think of the new UFC site?

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Comments
  1. […] Posted on September 6, 2010 by mixedmarketingarts Don’t think because the The Big 3 Series on websites is over that the marketer in me will be resting on this subject altogether.  […]

  2. […] Big Three Series: Twitter Posted on September 17, 2010 by mixedmarketingarts Now that we explored the websites of The UFC, STRIKEFORCE and Bellator I’m going to take a dive into their Twitter programs and see […]

  3. […] that we explored the websites and Twitter handles of The UFC, STRIKEFORCE and Bellator last year, I’m going to take a dive into […]

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