UFC Enjoys Backing of PokerStars
The 232nd edition of the Ultimate Fighting Championship produced another thrilling night in the Octagon as the curtain come down on another great MMA year. There were notable wins for Jon Jones and Amanda Nunes as we now look ahead with considerable anticipation to 2019.
One piece of news you may have missed on the night involved the backing of sponsor PokerStars. The online gaming brand gave valuable financial backing to the card and this development was as important as anything that went on inside the arena.
The announcement was made just ahead of fight night and it confirmed PokerStars as the first ever official Poker Partner of the UFC. It’s an innovative move in what is now a new sponsorship category for the sport on what proved to be a successful evening for all parties.
The gambling brand enjoyed significant exposure in and around the host venue – The Forum in Inglewood, California – while the UFC organisation will have undoubtedly secured significant financial input.
Speaking on behalf of the UFC, Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships Paul Asencio said:
We’re excited that PokerStars has joined our roster of global partners and has helped us create a new sponsorship category for our final event of 2018.
This agreement lays the foundation to work together with PokerStars in the future to grow our respective customer bases in key markets.
The response for the Stars Group came from Chief Marketing Officer of Stars Interactive, Christopher Coyne who added:
UFC and PokerStars have a lot in common. We want to thrill and entertain both in our products and customer experience.
UFC is the world’s leading MMA promoter with millions of followers and fans around the globe, while PokerStars is the heavyweight of online poker. It’s a classic combination.
Night of Success
Those comments were obviously made ahead of UFC 232 on December 2019 but they underline the value placed on this arrangement between the promoter and PokerStars. The evening itself was a huge success It was also a historic occasion for the sport as Amanda Nunes overcame featherweight champion Cris Cyborg to become the first ever female champion in two weight divisions.
But the highlight for most fight fans was the return to the Octagon of Jon Jones who duly completed a stunning win over Alexander Gustafsson in round three.
UFC 232 would clearly have been a success even without the contribution of PokerStars but their input is an important one for the sport. While many gambling operators choose to focus on a global game such as football, there is a huge audience for MMA fights and for the UFC in particular. This is, to an extent, unchartered territory and while there have been isolated deals in the past, it’s hoped that PokerStars involvement in UFC 232 will lead to more sponsorship arrangements in the near future.
The innovative nature of the deal also makes it stand out and therefore the publicity is strong on both sides. For now, UFC 232 is in the past but the future looks stronger than ever for the sport and new sponsor backing can only help to raise the MMA profile even further.