Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), a mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion company, and AdColony partnered on a mobile video campaign to drive pay-per-view purchases and ticket sales for the MMA event "UFC 243: Whittaker vs. Adesanya."
Objective and Context:
The campaign's objectives were to drive awareness and engagement for the mixed martial arts event "UFC 243: Whittaker vs. Adesanya" in order to increase pay-per-view buys and ticket sales.
Knowing they would have to fight for users' attention, UFC and AdColony collaborated to create an engaging and entertaining mobile video campaign. The strategy was to not only build awareness around the event but also the fighters themselves. Giving the audience a chance to engage and learn about UFC 243 and the fighters helped drive awareness and sales.
AdColony's Aurora HD Video and Dynamic End Card product has been used in prior campaigns and the company saw great success with this campaign as well as previous ones. The combination of the formats allowed for greater education and interaction.
This interactive campaign was geared towards casual sports fans and event-goers over a 12-day period.
UFC was looking for a new interactive way to not only educate their audience but also excite them for the upcoming fight between middleweight UFC champion Robert Whittaker and interim belt holder Israel Adesanya on October 6, 2019. The campaign needed to appeal to MMA fans as well as individuals who frequent sporting events.
By teaming up with AdColony, UFC was able to engage with its target audience through a 12-day dynamic mobile campaign.
Overall Campaign Execution:
The mobile campaign provided the ability to both reach the audience on their most-used devices and provide opportunities for interaction and engagement with the brand, which none of the other types of media would achieve as successfully.
The exciting video content and the ability to include additional information allowed UFC to achieve its goal of building familiarity with the fighters and anticipation for the event. The combination of the footage and interactive hotspots allowed UFC to drive both top-of-funnel awareness around the event as well as direct user engagement.
AdColony created a custom mobile campaign for sports fans and event-goers using their innovative Aurora HD Video technology. The user was presented with clips from the fighters' previous events while interactive hotspots popped up for optimal engagement. These hotspots allowed MMA fans to interact with the ad and learn more about both of the fighters. After the video, a Dynamic End Card was shown which had more hotspots leading users to UFC-related links, driving more engagement and interest in the event.
Prior to this campaign, UFC was already the largest MMA promotion company in the world and featured some of the highest-level fighters in the sport on its roster. In just over 25 years of business, UFC has grown into a globally popular multi-billion-dollar enterprise. In 2019, the company reached a domestic media rights agreement with ESPN which was valued at $1.5 billion over a five-year term.
Leading up to the campaign UFC wanted to both drive awareness and conversions (pay-per-view and ticket sales) and the campaign was set up to hit both of these goals. The campaign aimed to reach its already huge audience and keep them interested in matches and convert them into ticket holders.
The UFC 243 campaign produced excellent results. The average video completion rate was 94.3 percent, outperforming the UFC benchmark of 80 to90 percent. The overall engagement was 23.4 percent, which was five times greater than the UFC benchmark.
Viewability for the campaign registered at 98.2 percent, significantly above the 64 percent UFC benchmark. Additionally, UFC 243 broke the attendance record for a UFC event with a total of 57,127 people. With AdColony's expertise, UFC's campaign drove brand awareness, user engagement, and hype for the fight.
By utilizing AdColony's mobile video technology, UFC was able to achieve great exposure for its UFC 243 event. Through HD Video and a Dynamic End Card, viewers were not only given key information, but were also able to interact with the video to increase their own level of excitement about the event.
The UFC 243 marketing campaign, including the mobile execution with AdColony, helped build buzz for the event and led to strong ticket sales. UFC 243 broke the attendance record for a UFC event with a total of 57,127 people.