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Tuesday, July 13, 2010
UFC leads social networking efforts


A fact sheet compiled by the Chicago Sun-Times and picked up by USA Today's Sergio Non reveals some interesting statistics on the social networking aptitude of various sports clubs: The NBA is first in Facebook followers with 2.5 million. Second? The Ultimate Fighting Championship, at 1.6 million.

Although that might seem like a considerable gap, the UFC's Facebook presence is attracting double and sometimes even triple the numbers of the NHL, the NFL, NASCAR and the WWE. (MLB, which might skew toward older, keyboard-adverse fans, is idling at 105,000.)

Non points out that networking stats don't necessarily correlate to business -- but what it does indicate is that the UFC has mastered the Internet as a personalization tool. Receiving feedback from Dana White or fighters on Twitter is far more likely to incite interest and brand loyalty than an athlete's biannual fight schedule. Getting fans invested in sports is a little like making friends with your kidnapper: If you know what someone had for breakfast this morning or their dog's name, they become less a commodity and more of a human being.

Incidentally, Miguel Torres had Frosted Flakes.