The UFC is seeking to strengthen engagement in the Chinese market, unveiling a newly signed strategic partnership with Weibo, China’s leading social media platform.
The deal will see Weibo, become the “Official Social Media platform” of UFC in China, giving thousands of MMA fans in the country access to UFC live event content including athlete and executive interviews, fight highlights, fight night results, athlete metrics, fight announcements and content highlights from the soon-to-open UFC Performance Institute® in Shanghai.
UFC Senior Vice President Asia-Pacific, Kevin Chang commented: “We are honored to announce our landmark partnership with Weibo, the leading social media platform in China that has led the industry for the past 10 years and has amassed over 400m active monthly users. We are the very first MMA promotion to enter into an official partnership with Weibo to leverage its massive reach and promotional support, which will propel the brand to new heights and solidify our place among mainstream sports in China.”
The partnership aims to accommodate the accelerating growth of UFC fans in China, paving the way for UFC to invest millions in the country by building the world’s largest Performance Institute in Shanghai. This landmark move marks UFC’s commitment in developing the next generation of UFC stars from China. With the surging interest in MMA, UFC prospects from China such as no. 7 ranked UFC women’s strawweight Zhang Weili, UFC bantamweight Yadong Song, and veteran UFC welterweight Li Jingliang have built a strong Chinese fanbase who identify with these young and inspiring athletes.
This partnership comes after UFC pledged a multi-million-dollar expansion into China with the objective to build a rich and diverse MMA ecosystem. In a few months, the UFC Performance Institute Shanghai will open its doors in the Jing’An district providing the professional sports community with a state-of-the-art facility.
Weibo Senior Operation Director, Zhe Zhang added: “We are very excited to build strategic partnership with UFC, the most influential MMA organisation in the world. It is very important for us to tap into the combat sports sector, and to help us achieve this goal, we are making combat sports a vertical field with its own independent Weibo team focused on growing the brand in China.”