The Big Three Series Returns: YouTube

Posted: March 3, 2011 in Bellator, Marketing, PR, Social Media, Strikeforce, UFC

There has been a lot of activity in MMA over the last few months and as such I’ve slowed some of my toe-to-toe analysis of the MMA brands and their social channels.  Well, I’m going to refocus and make sure to stay on track.

Now that we explored the websites and Twitter handles of The UFC, STRIKEFORCE and Bellator last year, I’m going to take a dive into their YouTube channels and see who is using this platform the best in order to reach their target audience – you the fans.  I’ve looked at a number of MMA brands (like Ecko MMA) and publications (like FightersOnly) now I wanted to see how the MMA organizations themselves stack up

Channel URL:
UFC: http://www.youtube.com/user/UFC
STRIKEFORCE: http://www.youtube.com/user/Strikeforce
Bellator Fighting Champtionship: http://www.youtube.com/user/BellatorMMA

Channel Operators:
Unknown.  Each Channel is labeled as the promotion’s official site, but does not identify who is operating on behalf the MMA company.  My guess is someone in the marketing department or an outsourced social media agency.

Subscribers:  (As of 3/3/11)

  • UFC: 177,015
  • STRIKEFORCE: 463
  • Bellator: 3,491

Page Design:

  • UFC:  Per everything else with UFC marketing, this is a unique piece of collateral.  The banners, background and videos are all branded.  There is nothing cookie cutter about this page.
  • STRIKEFORCE:  Slick, but still a bit flawed. The page has a very cool, feint outline of an MMA cage on a gray background.  It may not be the most eye-catching, but it is certainly appropriate and maps back to an MMA brand.  However, on that same subject – where’s the actual brand? No STRIKEFORCE logo at the top. C’mon guys!
  • Bellator:  Basic.  Similar to the old Twitter handle set up (they’ve since updated it nicely), BFC uses the black background and then inserts the basic YT profile set up.

Corporate Use:

  • UFC:  This is a great place for fans to get their video content fix.  Fight highlights, behind the scenes interviews, fighter vlogs, Dana White vlogs, Ultimate Insider episodes, weigh-ins and promo clips are all available.
  • STRIKEFORCE:  The content here is very strong.  STRIKEFORCE utilizes highlights from events, weigh-in film, post-fight interviews, backstage interviews and marketing collateral such as promos.
  • Bellator:  For the majority the videos are highlights of prior events and interviews with fighters.  There are a few marketing videos setting up fights before hand or serving as promos for upcoming seasons.  The big downfall is the site hasn’t been updated in months.

Social Integration:

  • UFC:  The Share button leads to some antiquated technologies.  But unlike a lot of channels, the site does list its Twitter handle information in the side bar alongside its corporate background.
  • STRIKEFORCE:  There is a share button, but it is not set to Twitter or Facebook or any other relevant platform.  However, if you still have a Myspace page – its cool.   Not mentions of Twitter
  • Bellator:  Although Bellator has upped its Twitter game since my first review, there is no mention of the handle or anything beyond the outdated YT “share” function.

Interaction

  • UFC: 0.There is fan interaction, but no responses from any UFC personnel.
  • STRIKEFORCE: 0. There is fan interaction, but no responses from any STRIKEFORCE personnel.
  • Bellator: 0.  There is fan interaction, but no responses from any Bellator personnel.

Overall Rating:
1st Place: UFC; 2nd Place: Bellator; 3rd Place: Strikeforce.

The UFC is doing a great job similar has it had its Twitter presence and I look forward to seeing where they go next via video content.  Bellator only slightly passes STRIKEFORCE because of its branded logo and higher subscriber numbers.  With some extra attention, STRIKEFORCE could have a pretty cool channel on its hands.

Room for Improvements:
All three brands could elevate the interaction levels.  YouTube is certainly a beast and contains more trolls than a Lord of the Rings book.  However, all it takes is a little monitoring and the occasional comment to make a world of difference in terms of audience participation.  For the each brand I leave the following:

  • UFC: Keep on keeping on.  Other than showing some comment love from time-to-time, I can’t really ding this page.
  • Bellator: You need more consistent content.  There have been no new videos in months. I understand the format provides for a bit of an “off season” but there are ways around that with promo videos, etc..
  • STRIKEFORCE:  This site is starting to get stronger, keep it up.  With some more consistency in the promotion of the page it could grow to give other promotions a bit more of a scare.

Agree or disagree with anything I’ve said here? Let me know here at the blog or via Twitter @trochman

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Comments
  1. How effective is this platform for developing organizations like XFC for example? Do smaller shows need to implement this and if so, what is the best strategy for those smaller shows?

  2. I actually think a platform like YT is better for smaller organizations than the big dogs. The big programs will have dedicated fans that will order PPVs, read magazines or go to live events. The smaller venues need platforms that can elevate their brands and their fighters. I think if there is regular content and someone monitoring the page to contribute to conversations, a small organization can grown into a fan-favorite in no time.

  3. […] the very least I need a new gimmick for this site – The Big 3 Series just got […]

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