The UFC is growing at an incredible rate. With events almost every weekend, one back to back dates, and even events on the same day on occasion!
Earlier this month at the ‘UFC: The Time is Now’ press conference, the UFC unveiled its 2015 schedule, that will see the UFC hold 45 events in the 52 week year (See that HERE).
UFC chief global brand officer Garry Cook spoke to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour to discuss the UFC’s plans for growth in 2015.
“We’d like to be doing a lot more. I notice this in Brazil, I notice this in Asia. There’s call for another 20, 30 events. If you had the capability, that’s what people are asking. That’s what people wanna see in the local markets, but we’re trying to manage our business sensibly and in a measured way. You can never be too aggressive, (but) believe me, there’s a lot to come yet.”
“My job, I believe, is to help converge not only those, but the already knowledgeable and passionate (fans), but to bring a new audience to the sport. I think that’s what we have to do as we look forward to the next 15, 20 years. We want to be one of the major sports in the sports landscape around the world.
“Will we change everybody’s perception (of the sport)? I don’t necessarily think that’s the goal. To try to please everybody all the time can often be a recipe for failure. I think we’ve got to make sure that people know who we are, what we do, and know about our business and know that we are serious players in the sports landscape. It is getting easier, but it’s not easy.”
“We’re truly a global brand. We are not an American brand trying to take our product around the world. That’s very different. You have to have local events in local markets, with local fighters being the focus, and actually helping the U.S. audience become fans of what’s coming from around the world.”
“We’ve continued to grow around the world. We’re more of just a promoter of events now. We have 340 people working in our organization and as we continue to grow, we have to make sure that we are planning and aligning our business with all we wanna get after. We make sure people know we’re in television business, we’re in the event management business, we’ve got strategic partners in the commercial space. There’s a lot going on here. It’s not just about matchmaking two fighters in the Octagon.”
What are your thoughts on the UFC holding so many events so frequently?