- Streaming video platform TikTok has announced a content deal with the UFC.
- TikTok was a favorite target of former US President Donald Trump as part of his overall jingoistic propaganda campaign against China.
- The deal begins with Saturday’s UFC FIGHT NIGHT: BLAYDES vs. LEWIS event.
The last time we heard anything of note out of the UFC it was back in August when company majordomo Dana White was speaking at the Republican National Convention on behalf of Donald Trump. Not even Dana’s support could return Trump to the White House and times have changed and they’ve changed quickly. Trump continues to rant and rave from his Mar a Lago cul-de-sac in Florida but the world has passed him by.
This also includes the UFC. How ironic is it that the first major partnership deal the MMA promotion announces in 2021 is with Trump’s foil, streaming video platform TikTok? Although it appears that new President Joe Biden will continue the United States’ jingoistic and pointless ‘China is out to get us’ propaganda it looks like TikTok is in the clear. They’ve definitely got plenty of fans among the youth of American and are starting to get plenty of traction with corporations and content providers in the US.
The UFC is one of them–they’ve done particularly well on TikTok with 6.3 million followers making them the #3 most followed sports organization in the world. Here’s how the TikTok press release spelled out the new content partnership:
TikTok has become a destination where sports fans can discover new communities and connect with their favorite sporting events and athletes in new ways. TikTok LIVE streams give our community a chance to catch exclusive, behind-the-scenes moments and are an engaging channel to capture the excitement and pure emotion of live sports. We’re constantly looking for new ways to enhance the LIVE experience and open the door to unforgettable content that sports fans can’t find anywhere else.
Today we’re excited to announce a multi-year partnership with UFC, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, to deliver exclusive livestream content for UFC fans on TikTok around the world. The weekly livestreams will feature pre-and post-fight access, behind the scenes footage and engagement with UFC athletes, and other exclusive content executions for TikTok. Through this partnership TikTok and UFC will give fans access to hundreds of pieces of content annually via @UFC, @UFCRussia, @UFCBrasil, and @UFCEurope.
With more than 6.3 million followers on TikTok, @UFC has become the third most-followed sports league since joining the platform in October 2019. Building on this momentum, UFC will dedicate resources at their Las Vegas headquarters to provide the TikTok community with unprecedented access and bring them closer to UFC than ever before.
No quote from Dana White about the deal, no doubt out of fear of incurring Trump’s irrational wrath. Instead, that job is left to David Shaw, UFC Senior Vice President of International and Content:
“This partnership with TikTok is a tremendous addition to UFC’s content distribution ecosystem. We want to be everywhere our fans are consuming content and TikTok continues to break new ground in reaching a diverse, global audience. This collaboration is a great way to drive awareness to our tent pole live events while delivering compelling content to our fans, 24/7.”
TikTok’s response came from Harish Sarma, Director, Global Strategic Partnerships, Americas and Oceania, TikTok:
“We are thrilled to deepen our partnership with UFC and launch a robust slate of exclusive LIVE content for the TikTok community. Now more than ever, sports fans are craving the up-close-and-personal moments they are missing by not attending live events. Through this partnership, we are excited to bring to TikTok, the action and excitement of UFC both inside and outside the Octagon.”
The partnership will begin this weekend with the UFC FIGHT NIGHT: BLAYDES vs. LEWIS event on Saturday, February 20, live from UFC APEX in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada.