By: Daniel Atkinson
Last week, La Liga and UFC announced their partnership to cross-promote their sports to fans around the world. This historic global partnership strives to leverage the fan bases of La Liga & the UFC through social media collaborations, event coverage, and athlete activations from both sports to deepen their connections in North America and Europe.
The inception of this historic partnership comes after a successful initial collaboration between La Liga North America and UFC in September as the 2022 La Liga season kicked off. UFC interim flyweight champion, Brandon Moreno, and Spain-based, Ilia Topuria, traveled to Spain where they received the full experience of a La Liga match. The UFC’s rising stars were able to meet with players from Valencia CF and Atlético de Madrid while also creating digital content that was posted on the league, club, and player social media platforms. ESPN interviewed Moreno where he spoke about his experience in Spain, "LaLiga from Spain is crazy, man," and "[La Liga] has a lot of history and a lot of soccer culture. It was awesome."
The new partnership will be an expansion of the September trial as there will be collaborations that will feature athletes from both sports. The UFC and La Liga will organize at minimum three activations in Spain annually that involve athletes and the participation of La Liga clubs to promote La Liga to UFC fans. In turn, the UFC will integrate La Liga into existing digital shows and podcasts featuring La Liga players and ambassadors. In addition to social media collaborations, La Liga will produce content surrounding UFC Fight Weeks in order to spread awareness across the soccer community. The content will involve fight coverage, storytelling, La Liga players talking about fighters, and much more.
This is a massive opportunity for both sports, as it is a chance to tap into each of the established sports communities. La Liga looks to take advantage of UFC's rabid fanbase as it has a substantial Hispanic-American following. Adrian Segovia, Head of Content and Distribution of La Liga NA, notes that the Hispanic population in the United States is “at the heart of both La Liga North America and the UFC’s fanbases,” as they look to focus on bridging the two loyal sports communities through engaging content.
With a growing MMA following and a bright future for fighters like Topuria, the UFC aims to continue its global expansion into Spain. David Shaw (SVP, International and Content) and the UFC are excited about the many opportunities to cross-promote each other sports to the passionate fanbases. They recognized the influence of the Hispanic fan base in the U.S. and in Spain and will utilize this partnership to “engage with those fans while creating additional value for our broadcast partners, like ESPN+ in the U.S., by helping to drive viewership of our live events.”
Ultimately, this partnership is a no-brainer for two of the most preeminent sports properties in the world. We get to see the partnership between La Liga and UFC go live on UFC’s 30th anniversary at UFC 283 on Jan. 21, 2023, when Brandon Moreno defends his Flyweight title in Brazil. We are excited to see this partnership flourish at the first Pay-Per-View event in 2023 and see how other leagues around the world begin to follow suit with similar collaborations.