(“Please understand when I type ‘Go Fuk Urself’ it’s just part of a carefully orchestrated corporate branding campaign.” Pic: Dub)
If you’ve noticed the ridiculous crush of Twitter messages that have flooded the social networking site during the current Zuffa, LLC. fighter summit in Las Vegas, this may be the reason why: UFC President Dana White announced on Wednesday that the fight promotion will begin offering bonuses to fighters for Twitter use, essentially paying them to tweet. Bonuses will be available to fighters who add the most Twitter followers and write the most creative tweets, according to a report from MMA Fighting. Jesus, this oughta be good. No word yet on whether the UFC Octagon girls will get bonuses for incessantly tweeting about their daily agendas.
Those of you who have been paying attention know it is no accident that the UFC has quickly evolved into a major player in the social media world during the last couple of years. As one of its primary PR objectives, the promotion recently partnered with a marketing firm called The Digital Royalty, which specializes in teaching celebrities and organizations how to maximize their presence on Twitter. Turns out, Dana doesn’t just tweet because he likes it. And here we thought one of Twitter’s only redeeming qualities was that it seemed halfway organic and spontaneous. Guess not. Anyway, exactly how these bonuses will work is after the jump.
Straight from Ariel Helwani: “Starting June 1, UFC and Strikeforce fighters will be divided into four categories, based on how many Twitter followers they currently have. At the end of each quarter, three fighters from each category will be awarded a $5,000 bonus. The three winners will be based on who has gained the most followers since the start of the quarter, who gained the highest percentage of new followers and who wrote the most creative tweets. White will be the judge of the last category. At the conclusion of a full calendar year, the UFC will end up paying $240,000 a year to its fighters for their Twitter usage.”
Naturally, being our sport’s official arbiter of good taste and creativity, Dana will decide who gets the award for most creative tweets. If you ask us, this award may as well just be called The Miguel Torres Bonus. Seriously, if anybody is going to catch Miguel Angel, they’re really going to have to step their game up.
It goes without saying that the more followers the UFC can draw into its social networking web, the better it can advertise its various products (among which, the fighters themselves are No. 1) and ultimately push sales of things like merch and PPVs. Can it also use information about its followers to better hone its demographic information? Probably, but that’s just our guess.
So, the next time you see your favorite fighter on Twitter announcing his most recent breakup, telling an opponent who was the most important person in the car wreck he just had, he’s not just being friendly. He’s trying to get paid.