TikTok has established itself as one of the top social media platforms worldwide–and despite ongoing jingoistic attacks from the US Presidential Administration of Donald Trump. Although it unfortunately seems like new President Joe Biden is going to maintain the ‘China is out to get us’ paranoia it does look like TikTok is in the clear.
They’ve certainly got a lot of US based brands and users on the platform–and not just busty teenage girls showing off ersatz ‘dance moves’. There are all kinds of legitimate enterprises leveraging TikTok in just about every industry you can think of. Sports teams and leagues have been one of the most successful at taking advantage of the platform’s short form video format.
That’s why it wasn’t a huge surprise when the UFC announced a multi-year partnership with TikTok this week. The MMA promotion has 6.3 million followers on TikTok making them the third most followed sports league on the platform. They’re entering into a deal to provide ‘exclusive livestream content’ to TikTok:
TikTok has become a destination where sports fans can discover new communities and connect with their favorite sporting events and athletes in new ways. TikTok LIVE streams give our community a chance to catch exclusive, behind-the-scenes moments and are an engaging channel to capture the excitement and pure emotion of live sports. We’re constantly looking for new ways to enhance the LIVE experience and open the door to unforgettable content that sports fans can’t find anywhere else.
Today we’re excited to announce a multi-year partnership with UFC, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, to deliver exclusive livestream content for UFC fans on TikTok around the world. The weekly livestreams will feature pre-and post-fight access, behind the scenes footage and engagement with UFC athletes, and other exclusive content executions for TikTok. Through this partnership TikTok and UFC will give fans access to hundreds of pieces of content annually via @UFC, @UFCRussia, @UFCBrasil, and @UFCEurope.
With more than 6.3 million followers on TikTok, @UFC has become the third most-followed sports league since joining the platform in October 2019. Building on this momentum, UFC will dedicate resources at their Las Vegas headquarters to provide the TikTok community with unprecedented access and bring them closer to UFC than ever before.
David Shaw, UFC Senior Vice President of International and Content, got the honors of speaking on behalf of the promotion:
“This partnership with TikTok is a tremendous addition to UFC’s content distribution ecosystem. We want to be everywhere our fans are consuming content and TikTok continues to break new ground in reaching a diverse, global audience. This collaboration is a great way to drive awareness to our tent pole live events while delivering compelling content to our fans, 24/7.”
Harish Sarma, Director, Global Strategic Partnerships, Americas and Oceania, TikTok, returned the favor on behalf of her company:
“We are thrilled to deepen our partnership with UFC and launch a robust slate of exclusive LIVE content for the TikTok community. Now more than ever, sports fans are craving the up-close-and-personal moments they are missing by not attending live events. Through this partnership, we are excited to bring to TikTok, the action and excitement of UFC both inside and outside the Octagon.”
Wasting no time, the partnership will begin with this weekend’s UFC FIGHT NIGHT: BLAYDES vs. LEWIS on Saturday, February 20, live from UFC APEX in Las Vegas.