How the UFC Ran the Most Successful Spotify Campaign in History
Long since a knockout on social media, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) landed another social haymaker recently by running the most successful branded Spotify campaign to date.
In fact, no other contest even comes close to matching the UFC’s results — according to Spotify representatives this week, the UFC promotion attracted about four time as many votes as any previous campaign on the platform. (Both UFC and Spotify declined to specify how many votes that totaled.)
So what was the contest? The UFC has a reality show and mixed martial arts competition called The Ultimate Fighter, in which a field of combatants compete for a pro contract with the league. For the season finale last Friday, combatants picked two potential songs for the “walkout” music that plays when they enter the ring. Fans were able to listen to the two songs on Spotify, then vote for their selection via the UFC’s Facebook page, which has more than 8.7 million likes.
And what made the campaign so successful?
“UFC and music are quite synonymous because of the walkout music,” Spotify spokesman Graham James said in an interview. “They were going to fans where they live and breathe on Facebook and using music — a medium they could relate to.”
Spotify has run other recent campaigns with Universal Pictures, Subaru and Gillette, among other brands.
Social media has been key to the UFC’s surge in popularity over the past several years. Its commissioner Dana White has more than 2 million Twitter followers — far outpacing the commissioners of sports leagues with much wider mainstream recognition. In 2011, it instituted a Twitter bonus program, offering quarterly cash rewards to the the fighters who most effectively added followers, tweeted creatively and engaged fans.
Which brands do you think are best positioned to incorporate music into successful social media campaigns? Let us know in the comments.