With Facebook and Twitter a fixture in the daily lives of many, the UFC was quick to see the power that social networking companies could have to expose fans to their product.
The UFC's Facebook page has over 6 million fans and Dana White's personal Twitter account has over 1.5 million followers alone.
White talked to ESPN this week about the social media trends and how his company uses it to their advantage:
“When we go live, the fans are always saying on the Internet, 'Oh he's such an idiot. He's got the best seat in the house, and he's always on his phone or looking at the TV.' The reason for that is I'm watching the TV screen because I'm making sure that everything looks good on TV. I'm on my phone because I'm reading Twitter. Before [social media], if I was going to make an appearance somewhere, I would have to buy radio, online, newspaper, whatever, and you still wouldn't know if you were reaching the people that really care. But 1.4 million people on Twitter opt in to follow me. They go out of their way to say, 'I want to follow this guy. I want to know what's happening.' That's huge. It's not only good for all of us, but when the fighters retire, they have this built-in fan base. When they move on to that next chapter in their life and they continue to do other things, they're still connected with all these fans. Our Facebook page has grown unbelievably since we started putting up fights on it. And what happens is you end up turning more fans onto it, and you continue to grow your fan base and build your brand. You educate people about the sport and get more people talking about it, which is vital. Not only has social media been amazing for us the last couple of years, I think it's going to be monumental in the next five. We're working on big things right now for the next five years, and most of them revolve around social media.”