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UFC Promises 1/4 Million Dollars To Fighters For Using Twitter

May 12th, 2011


Credit: Mr. Alex Fine

The world of professional sports is trying to figure out ways to control their athletes use of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Recent problems have lead most sports to try and limit the use of social media, and they impose fines when the rules are broken. For example:

  • Chad Ochocinco is going to pay the NFL $25,000 for tweeting during a preseason game.
  • New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush went on a Twitter tirade at ESPN personality Skip Bayless for his critical stance on the former Heisman Trophy winner.
  • Major League Baseball suspended Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen two games and fined him an undisclosed amount for comments he made on Twitter following an ejection at Yankee stadium.

As of right now, there is only one sports organization that seems to embrace the use of social media, and that is the UFC. The UFC announced:

“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. (UFC President Dana) White will be the judge of the last category.”

So let’s do the math:

  • 3 winners times $5,000 is $15,000 per category
  • 4 categories of fighters makes $60,000 each quarter
  • 4 quarters each calendar year means that the UFC will be spending just shy of a quarter million dollars PROMOTING the use of Twitter by its athletes.

The UFC has really taken the use of social media to an entirely new level for the world of professional sports. Recently they have begun offering free fights on their Facebook page as well as breaking news on the company’s official Twitter account. The UFC has long prided itself on being the most fan-friendly organization around. It looks like that mission is expanding with the continued rise of the sport.



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