Grabyo partnership with UFC bears fruit with social media upsurge
Mixed martial arts - 20 Jan 2021
Mixed martial arts’ Ultimate Fighting Championship secured impressive growth figures across its social media platforms over the course of 2020, including a 75 per cent rise in Facebook followers, a new study has shown.
In a year in which various UFC events were cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, the promotion was able to increase its YouTube following by 27 per cent, and its Instagram following by 24 per cent, according to the report from UK-based video technology specialist Grabyo on social media activity.
Facebook led the way when it came to video views secured over the 12 months, with 7.1 billion. Meanwhile, clips and other content on YouTube attracted 18 billion video interactions.
However, while video views stretched into the billions on the other three platforms, the count for Twitter was only 378 million, and the site also attracted the fewest interactions, at 19.5 million.
UFC has recently been utilising Grabyo’s Studio tool, an editing and publishing service, to create short-form content for social media, as part of a wider partnership between the pair struck early in 2020, and also been using the Grabyo Producer technology to create live streaming content on those platforms.
The partnership between Grabyo and UFC began in the first few months of last year, when the promotion began using Grabyo’s cloud platform to distribute live and real-time video content for UFC 246: McGregor vs Cerrone.
For the fights that did take place last year, behind closed doors because of Covid-based restrictions, the organisation used Grabyo’s technology to provide viewers with a second-screen experience on social media, including “clips of weigh-ins and interviews… [as well as] real-time highlights and live shoulder content," the report pointed out.
David Shaw, UFC’s senior vice-president of international and content, said: “UFC makes it a priority to produce high-quality content across all our digital media platforms. It is one of the ways we stay connected to a global fanbase of more than 300 million."
Mike Kelley, president of Americas at Grabyo, added: “UFC has been a leader in technology innovation - leveraging social media and digital platforms to drive fan engagement and revenue… The organisation has adapted and thrived to produce some exceptional content.”
Aside from UFC, Grabyo’s clients include English soccer’s Premier League and Football Association, Spanish soccer giants Barcelona, England’s Rugby Football Union, tennis’ Wimbledon Championships and prominent sports broadcasters such as Sky and DAZN.
Last week, the company entered into a partnership with InPlayer, a video monetisation company, aimed at providing sports bodies with a way to further monetise digital content.
Using InPlayer, the digital content teams of clubs, leagues and federations will be able to install a paywall over content generated by Grabyo on their sites.
Grabyo will manage the live or on-demand content, which will then be paywalled using InPlayer’s services.