- Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the promoter of mixed martial arts competitions, expanded its programming lineup on Snapchat, Front Office Sports reported. The collaboration now includes exclusive shows and content for Our Stories, the section of the image-messaging app that collects images and videos from an event based on its location.
- UFC is also producing two shows for Snapchat's Discover page, which showcases content from media companies and celebrities. "UFC Pulse" airs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to preview an upcoming fight, while "Embedded" gives viewers a behind-the-scenes view of UFC fighters as they prepare for bouts.
- UFC and Snapchat will additionally create 20 editions for Our Stories, including posts from 12 pay-per-view events and eight UFC Fight Nights worldwide. The companies will design special augmented reality (AR) filters that fans can use to decorate the pictures they share on Snapchat, Deadline reported.
UFC's collaboration with Snapchat expands on its past multiyear partnership to create Live Stories, or collections of fan-contributed pictures and videos from live events. UFC aims to reach a younger demographic and build its fan base, whose median age is 40 years old while 40% are millennials, Front Office Sports reported.
In contrast, Snapchat reaches 90% of U.S. consumers ages 13 to 24, and 75% of people ages 13 to 34, per parent company Snap. By creating exclusive content and features for Snapchat, UFC can help to engage audiences, boost awareness and generate pay-per-view orders that are a key source of its revenue.
UFC has made social media and digital platforms a priority, with similar plans to expand programming on Twitch, the Amazon-owned livestreaming platform that's popular with gamers, including male teens that the promoter wants to reach. UFC has built a substantial following on TikTok, the video-sharing app that has been downloaded more than 1.5 billion times worldwide, making it one of the most popular social networks in the world. UFC has more than 1 million followers on TikTok, giving it the fourth-biggest audience among North American sports leagues on the platform, per Front Office Sports. Social media provide a global reach for UFC, especially among younger consumers who are more reliant on mobile devices than traditional channels like TV for entertainment.
UFC is among the sports leagues that are building out their social media and livestreaming presence to reach that younger demographic. The NFL last year kicked off its 100th season by creating an account on TikTok to showcase game clips, and boosted its viewership on Twitch by 45% by livestreaming "Thursday Night Football" during the regular season. The NBA also has worked to reach social media audiences with innovations such as its "iso-cam" on Twitter that focused on single players in select games.