Fiona Green | 11th July 2016


If you haven’t yet read the news in the NY Times this morning that the UFC has reportedly “sold itself” for USD $4 billion to the behemoth WME-IMG, then let me summarise it for you. The Fertitta brothers have provided a textbook case study of how sports rights holders can multiply the value of their IP if they know their fans and engage with them accordingly.

OK so maybe their payday isn’t just down to the way they’ve optimised their approach to CRM and “intelligent customer engagement” but you have to believe it’s contributed a huge proportion.

Legend has it that back in the day, when Dana White first tried to get broadcasters interested, he was met with a less than enthusiastic response – “provide me with the feed and I may put it in our graveyard slot on our minor multicast channel”. But rather than devalue the UFC proposition, they set to provide their own solution – d2c broadcasting through knowing who their fans are, what they want from them, and most crucially, how much they were willing to pay for it.

Fast forward to 2016 and their Fight Pass streaming service is one of the most successful digital services out there. While networks clamour for other broadcast windows like their partnership with Fox, their continued use of digital ensures a huge 45% of it’s global audience is the notoriously fickle millennials.

And what’s the first thing you see when you go to their website? Get Newsletter, Recebe a Newsletter, Newsletter abonnieren, Ottieni la Newsletter, 뉴스 레터 수신.  And seven other ways of saying “please tell me who you are so I can know who you are, learn more about you, engage with you in a meaningful way…..and one day sell something to you”.

Those of you who’ve worked with us, brainstormed with us, or even just read our blogs, you’ll know that we wholeheartedly believe in the value of that simple-to-use, easy-to-implement, CRM-101 starter……the humble newsletter!

From that one subscription form on your website or in your social channels, you can start your direct relationship with your fans. You can build customer profiles, apply personas to your customer journeys, analyse behaviour to predict outcomes……and end up with enhanced value for your own IP.

Just like the Fertitta brothers!

If you’d like to share your thoughts with us, hear more about what we think, or if you know what really happened when the UFC started punting their wares all those years ago, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.


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