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MMA – UFC Turns Simon Cowell with Professional Griefers

UFC and DeadMau5 Join Forces For MMA Promo.

MMA Promoter UFC teams up with DeadMau5 to release a new track and music videoUFC, the world’s mightiest MMA promotion, announced earlier this year that they would be diversifying their commercial operations by venturing into the choppy waters of the music industry. The move was explained as part of a plan for continued global growth, with top brass at UFC expressing hope that the music business would provide fertile ground for picking-up new MMA fans.
UFC’s first foray into this pasture-new came in the form of partnering Canadian electro-house guru DeadMau5 in the release of a new track and accompanying music video – Professional Griefers – which features an unexpected stint from Gerard Way, lead singer of My Chemical Romance. The finished product was released at the end of August and has already received almost one and a half million views on Youtube alone.
Undeniably, Professional Griefers is a very slick, well polished release, which is deserved of high praise. The combination of DeadMau5 inimitable frenzied, beat-driven style and Gerard Way’s angst-ridden vocal works surprisingly well, producing what is likely to become a dance floor favourite in clubland. The accompanying video is visually stunning, with a mesmeric quality that makes it impossible to ignore. However, despite all the positives, the project has the whiff of vanity and corporatism about it, not least because of the prominent UFC branding.
So what does the success of “Professional Griefers” mean for UFC? Unfortunately, it is likely to mean very little other than column inches in music magazines. The hope that the video will lead to a deluge of new fans is unlikely to become manifest, as a passion for sport, especially a sport like MMA, can not be created by what amounts to a glorified, highly abstract advert. Conversely, the venture is likely to act as a considerable boon to the career of DeadMau5, exposing his brand to a huge global audience and ensuring massive quantities of copy in niche sports media. The net winner from this project will be DeadMau5 by a country mile.
UFC’s decision to move into sponsored-music inadvertently lays bare a dilemma that faces the fight promotion. The organisation is almost certainly reaching the apex of its success in its largest market, the United States, and can no longer bank on continued, unabated growth without an aggressive expansion strategy. Part of this strategy will invariably focus on overseas markets, but it will also involve horizontal diversification into related areas of entertainment.


Images and Video: Ultra Music (c)

Words: Al Cuin

Tags: DeadMau5, Mixed Martial Arts, Professional Griefers, UFC

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