UFC Signs Up Repucom To Track Growth, Effectiveness Of Brand In World Marketplace
Repucom and the Ultimate Fighting Championship announced a global research partnership on Friday to assist UFC in its global expansion plans. Stamford, Conn.-based Repucom will track the impact and effectiveness of the UFC brand around the world, including global fan research, broadcast auditing and sponsor evaluation for the entire UFC schedule, which includes more than 30 live events, and more than 300 hours of original programming annually, in approximately 145 countries and territories. UFC's parent company, Zuffa, is headquartered in Las Vegas with offices in London, Toronto and Beijing. Repucom has 20 global offices and a presence on every continent. There have been 225 UFC events held in 84 cities, within 12 countries and 32 U.S. states or territories, including a Jan. 19 bout in Brazil broadcast on FX. The property has events scheduled in Stockholm, London and Saitama, Japan in '13. The deal does extend to include some video game and online research, however a Repucom spokesperson would not confirm specifics.
WORLDWIDE EXPANSION: UFC just completed the first year of a seven-year broadcast agreement with Fox Sports Media Group, which included the broadcast of four annual live events on Fox, with additional fight cards and thousands of hours of programming broadcast on Fox's FX and Fuel TV. Repucom's research will also include programming such as the UFC reality series "The Ultimate Fighter," which is the longest-running sports reality show on TV. The show is in its 17th season in the U.S., with int'l versions in Brazil and Australia and additional countries expected to debut it this year. According to Nielsen, Fox's four bouts in '12 averaged 3.47 million viewers, FX's 13-episode "The Ultimate Fighter 16" series concluded in December and averaged 866,000, and UFC.com averaged 700,000 unique visitors during the season.