There are a tonne of reasons why modern mixed-martial arts has had incredible success up until this point, but more specifically, there are two major reasons why this level of success will continue, as MMA’s growth sky-rockets at a record setting pace.
The success that MMA has experienced up until this point has been nothing short of miraculous when you consider the opposition over the years. As such, like it or not, mainstream news media is now being forced to accept the reality:
MMA is here to stay—permanently!
Those brain-dead, close-minded politicians in certain states and provinces throughout all of North America (and likely the world) can stay in denial all they want. Despite their best efforts, they simply cannot prevent the inevitable.
And here’s why...
Reason #1: The Fans
Is there anyone better than a true MMA fan?
Certainly not in my experiences.
And if I may generalize for a moment, I believe that most fans of modern mixed-martial arts (not the posers who have no real interest in the complexities of martial arts training or the sweet science of fighting) are intelligent, hard-working and honorable people who truly appreciate all of the great qualities associated with this fine sport. They are mostly drawn to MMA, not just for the entertainment value (which is great by the way), but because they personally hold the virtues and values that they see in MMA as being close to their own.
Plus, let’s face it. We live in tough times, and those who learn to become survivors, stand the best chances at being successful in whatever facet of life that they choose.
“Violence is a part of life. It should be remembered that violence and aggression is part of everyday life now. You see it over the TV. You can’t just pretend that it does not exist.”—Master Bruce Lee
Like in any sport, there will always be negative aspects which may or may not affect how the sport is perceived. From what I can tell, MMA fans are always the first to speak out on the things that they don’t like, not because they are trying to be negative or to draw negative attention to the sport, but because they want mainstream society (and quite possibly, our younger generation) to know that not all misbehavior speaks on behalf of all fans.
The reputation that MMA creates for itself is the same that carries over into the lives and reputations of its supporters.
MMA fans might not always get along with each other due to their impassioned views on the sport, but in the end, they all want the same thing: growth.
It is this ultimate mission that draws all fans into a common goal and brotherhood.
I am reminded of years ago when I used to own an old 1982 Jeep CJ-7. I couldn’t drive that beast anywhere it seemed without someone else, who also happened to be driving a Jeep, waving at me as if to say “hello brother, we share a bond.”
MMA fans might not always like each other, but in the end, they mostly seem to respect each other and their right to hold an opinion.
MMA fans are loyal, enthusiastic, supportive, and occasionally combative. They possess a wide variety of subjective opinions and love to discuss/debate them with other MMA enthusiasts. Agree to disagree, most fans love the sport for varied reasons, but in the end, the priority is all about the universal success of the sport.
As long as the fans keep networking with each other, supporting each other, and sharing their deep enthusiasm with anyone willing to listen, MMA will absolutely become the theme of the next generation—politicians included.
Reason #2: Marketing Away From the Masses
The greatest form of advertising is word-of-mouth, when one enthusiastic friend convinces another to share in their passion.
I used to care what mainstream society thought about this sport. I had convinced myself that without the immediate acceptance of “popular opinion,” the sport of MMA would never get legalized, particularly in my home province of Ontario.
I thought that any negative publicity would automatically cause harm to this sport.
Death threats, brawls, DUI, domestic violence...what we must all acknowledge is that these are not just the negative aspects of MMA (or other sports—just ask the NFL), but these also happen to be the unfortunate aspects of life in general.
I was reminded recently of a great marketing video that I love to share with my students, entitled Seth Godin: Sliced bread and other marketing delights
Please watch it. It’s a great summary of modern marketing tactics.
At precisely nine minutes and 39-seconds into the video (although I recommend that you watch the whole thing for enhanced relevancy and comprehension, particularly if you own your own business or have something to market, such as an MMA brand clothing line), the video starts referencing the TV Industrial Complex and the Marketing Bell Curve.
Essentially, the video talks about the connection between average products for average people, and how to “not” market to those people.
The consensus has generally been that in order to gain brand popularity or acceptance, a business must market directly to the masses (the centre of the curve) which represents approximately 80% of the mainstream population. Companies have learned to ignore what they refer to as the “geeks” and “laggards” that represent the other 20%.
MMA is most definitely that other 20%.
MMA is very unique and special and currently only appeals to a very certain and specific demographic.
Admittedly, a company such as the UFC has done an excellent job of marketing directly to the fans that already have an invested interest in MMA. They don’t spend a lot of time, energy or money trying to convince a “non-fan” to watch the sport (hmmm...what’s on CBS tonight?).
Concentrating too much on the less-traditional fans could (and would) be a promotional waste.
As a fan-base, let’s keeping supporting MMA as much as possible.
For starters, tell a friend