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Unlocking the Passion of UFC's Biggest Fans

Leveraging UFC's passionate fan base to acquire new customers authentically and efficiently.

Finding the Ultimate UFC FIGHT PASS Fanatic

YOUR BIGGEST FANS ARE YOUR BIGGEST ASSET

We already know that crowdsourced creative has immense benefits when using it for paid media. Namely, it's very inexpensive, it's more authentic than agency creative, and most importantly, with a little engagement for fuel, it can drastically reduce the cost of advertising (click here to find out why that is).

This summer, UFC was approaching a significant milestone: International Fight Week (July 5–10) would culminate in UFC’s 200th pay-per-view event. The company asked Plush Digital to capture the intense, exuberant passion of its most loyal fans — then use that to tell the UFC story from a different perspective: as a direct-response tool that would appeal to new fans and first-time buyers who would then drive paid viewership beyond even the aggressive targets the company had set.

The Concept
UFC FIGHT PASS is a paid OTT digital streaming service designed, in part, for the most ardent fans — UFC’s highly enthusiastic “brand advocates.” The acronym, which stands for “Over the Top,” tells the tale: It offers a combination of exclusive fights, original programming and the most voluminous broadcast archives of UFC fights. It has become one of the world’s fastest-growing digital streaming services.

The Plan
Invite UFC FIGHT PASS members to submit a one-minute video clip in which they explain why they, above all others, are the world’s biggest UFC fan and therefore deserve the “fan experience of a lifetime.” Seven people from around the world would be chosen, in part with an eye toward showcasing just how intriguing the cross-section of UFC’s expanding global fan base really is.

Step One

Activate the base with a call to action from UFC president Dana White:



Step 2

Produce a brief collage of appealing, funny and outright bizarre fan submissions to build on White’s initial call to action and encourage more people to submit.



Step 3

Choose seven lucky winners and fly them to Las Vegas for the fan experience of a lifetime!




Step 4

Give them Octagon-side seats for the UFC FIGHT PASS Exclusive battle of the night: Dos Anjos vs. Alvarez!


Step 5

Invite them to lunch the next day with Dana White himself.


THE RESULTS

We don’t focus on “awareness” metrics such as impressions, clicks, likes or video views to demonstrate tangible value to our partners. Social consumption worldwide is immense almost beyond description, and such metrics can easily become inflated — seeming impressive without actually making a quantifiable positive impact.

UFC demands accountability, which in its case is easily gauged by customer-acquisition numbers: new Fight Pass subscribers and digital pay-per-view purchases. While actual numbers are not public, we're proud that the Fanatics contest, along with our other acquisition tactics, helped UFC reach an all-time high for event-related customer acquisition.