UFC 249 Shines with Social Media Engagement

With the current state of sports, fans are at an all time high for consuming live content. The sports community feels the need, the need for live content. And on Saturday, May 9th, UFC gave the people what they wanted with UFC 249.  Read on to see how social engagement and sponsor activations saw UFC receive quite the ROI on the event that had fans cheering from their couches instead of the arena. 

Social Overview 

We analyzed the social overview of UFC 249 by tracking the owned and earned content of UFC and their UFC 249 competing fighters. As one of the first live events in months, UFC found a captive and engaging audience on social.  
When you compare these numbers to UFC 244 which took place last November (with fans in attendance), you see the social media value of this event. UFC saw their engagement rate more than triple from .46% (3.9 million engagements on 174,998 posts) at UFC 244 to 1.55% (12.1 million engagements on 272,702 posts) at UFC 249. Using Zoomph’s valuation model we see that the social media value of UFC 249 weighs in at $15.2 million while UFC 244 had a social value of $10.6 million. 

Sponsored Content 

With the focus solely on screens and no fans in the stands, UFC brand partners relied heavily on sponsored social content to generate their maximum exposure and value. The top brands that activated on social during UFC 249 were Nemiroff VodkaDEVOUR FoodsP3 ProteinToyo Tires, and Reebok who combined for a total social value of $884,247 with nearly 800,000 engagements. 

Our AI also picked up which logos received the most value from videos and photos on social. Reebok led the way with exposure on athlete’s gear pre-match and during the match.

Audience Breakdown 

Zoomph’s audiences tool can break down your audience beyond your traditional demographics and give you a better grasp of their affinities and interests. We broke down and assessed the audience on social media around the conversation about UFC 249 in comparison to those that traditionally follow UFC.  
In comparison to fans that follow @UFC, those posting and engaging online with #UFC249 are 40% less likely to be fans of MMA. The lack of live events is causing UFC to attract a different audience than normal and once normalcy returns to sports, we will see if they can convert any of these casual viewers into a fan of the sport. Fans tuning in were also bigger fans of beer (42% more likely to have affinity) something that was sure to interest UFC partner Modelo 
If interested in taking a deeper dive into the numbers, request our report: Analysis of the Return of UFC Through Digital.
Here at Zoomph, we can’t wait for the day that we can all attend live sporting events again, but we’re excited to see the incredible content and interaction occurring on social between athletes, leagues, and brands during this time. Stay safe everyone!