LaLiga, the top-tier Spanish soccer league, has entered into a promotional partnership with the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
In an announcement yesterday (December 1), LaLiga said there will be three annual activations in Spain to promote the league and its teams to UFC fans, while UFC will “integrate LaLiga into existing digital shows” on its various digital platforms.
This partnership has been put in place following an initial collaboration between the two sporting bodies at the start of the 2022-23 LaLiga season when UFC fighters Brandon Moreno and Ilia Topuria (Spanish) traveled to Spain, attended a LaLiga fixture, and met several players. Related content was then created and distributed across both organizations’ digital platforms.
Another aspect of the tie-up will see LaLiga North America creating social media content around UFC Fight Week “to expand awareness of UFC within the soccer community.”
In addition, both sides will collaborate around key events and dates throughout the year, such as the iconic El Clasico clash between LaLiga rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona and the upcoming UFC 30th anniversary. There will be cross-promotion of these events on all social media channels.
The UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas will also host LaLiga players for training and knowledge-sharing.
LaLiga and UFC share international sports broadcaster ESPN as a US media rights partner.
David Shaw, UFC’s senior vice president for international and content, said: “LaLiga is one of the greatest and most popular soccer leagues in the world, and we’re excited to explore the opportunities to cross-promote our sport to their incredible fan base.
“UFC has a significant Hispanic fan base in the US, not to mention millions more in Spain, and this relationship is a way for us to engage more with those fans …”
UFC is covered in Spain by the pan-continental broadcaster EuroSport, part of the Warner Bros. Discovery media giant, through a deal struck in January.
There has never been an official UFC event in the country.
Adrian Segovia, head of content and distribution at LaLiga North America, added: “Our focus will be finding commonalities within the LaLiga and UFC communities and providing value-add opportunities to enhance fan access and create relatable, engaging content.”
LaLiga North America launched in 2018, initially as an equal joint partnership with Relevent Sports Group.
The division currently has 13 specific North American commercial partners and estimates its US fanbase to be in the region of 32 million.
Plans to host a regular-season LaLiga game in North America have not yet come to fruition, but the league is understood to still be keen on that option.