Is Local MMA Missing Out?
Most of you know I watch a ridiculous amount of LIVE FREE Combat/Grappling sports every week. So, here is my question to Promoters, Fighters, Sponsors and Fans: What do we do to fix the problem of less and less MMA promotions streaming?
Why is it that any given weekend I can find many more FREE LIVE streaming events for what most would not think of as mainstream sports, when so many say MMA is the fastest growing sport and now mainstream?
For those who think money is the issue - explain how all of these events have sponsors, crowds, live viewers and continuously hold successful events? If local events such as high school wrestling, dart and pool tournaments, gymnastics competitions and BJJ and grappling tournaments (which are held in the same facilities that MMA promotions are held in) can stream their events for free why can’t MMA promotions?
Also let's talk the “Quality” issue as it will come up in a rebuttal. I have seen many streams without commenter’s, less than HD video feed and single camera view, and can say even with these issues it was still a good event to watch. Yes, some are to bad, but with some tweaks they could be fine. Most of the events streamed are backed up if they are done right. Then can be broken down by fights or you can YouTube it as a full event. Two ways to bring more exposure to the fighters, promotion and sponsors for many weeks to come. Doing this kind of video archive is great for fans, fighters, coaches and other promoters. This gives the fighters a great way to showcase their talents as well as sponsors to be showcased on a regional level. This might help keep some of the sponsors we lose everyday in the MMA game. Yes, some folks cant stream, and I do understand that. Be it venue issues with no internet or no money to pay a top rate company to film it. To me they money issue is the one that can be fixed. I know of promoters who have gone to a local high school or college and got the Audio/Visual department to either donate their time or do the event for minimal pay so they can gain experience in their craft. If you want to find a way you will, and if you want to find an excuses you will.
Now to talk about the whole “I will lose ticket sales”. I say, really? 95% of folks going to watch a friend, teammate or family member fight are going to be there to support them even if it is streamed. As for loss of tickets sales then run ad space on the stream and you will make more than the 20 to 25 tickets that you might have lost at the same time growing your audience. Also you can offer a higher cost sponsor package with a commercial or logo on the stream. I have seen it work over and over on a regional level. Yes it might have to do with some promoters not understanding how to use a stream in a successful way but then they should reach out to a promotion that is successful to learn from them. Maybe get with a local advertising firm to see what they can do to help set up a stream. If you want to be successful and not only make money off the backs of amateurs that fight for free then invest in you promotion to keep it growing through streaming. I have personally worked with local events that could only fit 1,200 folks in a building and on their streamed pull 4,500 viewers from over 15 countries. Is that not a good thing? You can only fit so many ticket sellers in a building. What about family, friends, fans, sponsors and media that do not live close enough to buy a ticket and go to the event in person? Why are they looked at as second class fans by some promoters? Are they not supporting your product by watching a stream?
I am not saying every stream needs to be on the level of a big show but you can still showcase your fighters, brand and sponsors in a great way - even if you do a basic stream.
Others sports to MMA- FREE LIVE STREAMS on an average weekend.
Regional / International - Table Tennis 5 to 1
Regional / International - Pool 4 to 1
Regional / International - Darts 3 to 1
Regional / International - Gymnastics 2 to 1
Regional / International - BJJ 3 to 1
HS / College / International - Wrestling - 4 to 1
If you look at mainstream sports it gets even worse.
Regional Baseball in season 25 to 1
Regional Soccer almost every weekend 40 to 1
Regional Basketball in season 18 to 1
Written by @STPtattoo