“I AM NOT RETIRED”
Coming off of Tuesday’s controversy regarding Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) superstar Conor McGregor’s tweet stating, “I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya’s later,” the featherweight champion has since released a follow-up statement. After UFC President, Dana White, decided to pull McGregor from the premiere fight at UFC 200 due to McGregor’s refusing to attend a press conference this weekend in Vegas to remain training in Iceland, the blue-collar Irishman finally gave the world his reasoning.
Early this morning, McGregor posted to his Facebook account what seemed to be a very well thought out and personal reasoning behind his refusal to attend the UFC 200 media conferences. This raises a number of questions, however. How valuable are fighters to an organization such as the UFC in terms of promotion? Of course, without fighters there would be no fights, but could the UFC get by without the amount of brand exposure fighters like Conor McGregor bring through media days and press conferences? According to McGregor, not a chance. Conor surely does prove some very valid points in his statement, including opening with, “I am paid to fight. I am not yet paid to promote”.
While both sides of this debate have their fair offerings, a solidified truth can be taken from it all. In the UFC in particular, the fighters are the foundation and brand promoters of the company. Without them, the hundreds of millions of dollars generated in promotion would not be feasible nor possible. Some may view this as just a stunt in order to draw more attention to the UFC, and they may be right as it has. Regardless the outcome, McGregor has certainly done more positive promotion for the UFC than negative.
Comparable to this event now with any business we can evaluate the way that fighters are the foundation of the company and best promoters for the business in reference to employees for any company. In a recent controversy Verizon Wireless has had with their employees, we can see the importance of employee-company relations and the value of keeping employees satisfied in running an efficient business.
Activ8 Media is an industry-leading digital marketing agency specializing in brand activation, sports marketing, UFC advertising, talent management, and social media for businesses, athletes and entertainers.