UFC president Dana White was the key note speaker at the New Media Expo yesterday in Las Vegas.
Here’s how they explained Dana and the UFC in the press release:
For those of you that don’t now, The Ultimate Fighting Championship is the world’s leading mixed martial arts organization and the number one commercial pay-per-view event provider in the history of combat sports. Dana White, the UFC President, has blazed a trail to sports industry dominance on the social web in a very short time relative to the other major sports organizations, establishing UFC as the #4 overall sports brand on Facebook, behind only the NBA, Nike and WWE. He’s implemented a revolutionary social media policy, including a bonus compensation structure for UFC athletes engaging fans in conversation on Twitter. Dana himself has more than 2.2 million Twitter followers, regularly carries on frank conversations with fans, athletes and journalists online, and shares a behind-the-scenes view of UFC events by video blogging on YouTube, leading off each episode with his familiar “fight week, blog week!” The UFC YouTube channel has nearly 500,000 subscribers and over 370 million views.
Since purchasing the UFC in 2001 with partners Frank Fertitta III and Lorenzo Fertitta, White has helped revolutionize the sport. With White leading the charge, UFC programming is now available in more than one billion homes worldwide. Just last year, the UFC signed a landmark seven-year broadcast agreement with the FOX Sports Media Group, a sign that the fastest-growing sport in the world shows no signs of slowing down.
Here is a quote from Dave “I’m pretty fascinated seeing how they’ve changed the landscape for sports organizations using social media. Before Dana, there were few if any figureheads at the top of professional sports engaging openly with fans, not to mention encouraging pro athletes to do the same. From the fans’ positive reactions I’ve seen, and the explosive growth of mixed martial arts under the UFC banner, this is one eye-opening example of how smart businesses can spark huge growth in a tough economy through social media.”
MMA Mania pulled some juicy quotes from Dana’s speech:
“People always compare me to those guys [Roger Goodell, Bud Selig and other commissioners], but I’m different than those guys … not in a bad way. They’re doing just fine with whatever they are doing. I’m different, I have been since Day One. If you come on Twitter with me, you’re going to read things and see things that you don’t expect from the president or commissioner of a sport.
“I’m very honest, I’m very real with everybody. And if you say something stupid to me, I’m going to say something stupid back. I think that’s why people follow me — I have fun on Twitter. Plus, we engage with the fans a lot…. I giveaway tickets, merchandise — we do fun stuff through Twitter. And people love free shit.
“The PR department hates me. They’re always pissed at me. I’m always saying stuff before [I should].
“That’s a little diva there (referring to Jon Jones‘ comments regarding UFC 151) — being treated like a piece of meat?” White continued shortly thereafter. “I think [Jones] was being a diva. It is what it is.”
Overall an impressive performance for the UFC boss. What did you think? How well did Dana rep MMA, the UFC and himself in front of the tech nerds?