Friday, March 18, 2011

Latinos Power Growth Of Ultimate Fighting Championship

In a recent interview with USA Today, boxing promoter Bob Arum predicted limited success for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the promotion company that hosts most mixed martial arts (MMA) events, due to what he sees as its inability to draw in viewers from growing demographics, including Latinos and African Americans. In some ways, his comment could make sense.

After all, the sport boasts among their fighters people like Toni Valtonen, a Finnish fighter with a swastika and "White Power" tattoos across his back.
However, the same sport that Arum claims is for "a tattooed, skinhead white guy who enjoys watching similar-looking, untalented individuals" is experiencing unprecedented growth, and its increased viewership is being led by one of the very audiences Arum thought the UFC would never be able to attract: Latinos.

For a sport that caters primarily to the male 18-34 demographic, Latinos, who make up 20% of this audience, represent a key portion of UFC's viewership. In fact, recent Simmons data show that they are even more enthusiastic about the UFC than their non-Latino counterparts, with 37% of Latino males 18-34 saying they are "very interested" in the UFC, compared to 23% of non-Latino males in the same age group. Latino males 18-34 are also more involved fans of the sport and are 25% more likely to say they view UFC fights on pay-per-view than non-Latinos.

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