Part owner of the UFC, Lorenzo Fertitta, recently took part 'The Leaders Sport Summit' in London England and spoke about the journey the UFC took to build it's brand. A lot of comparisons have been made between the UFC and the WWE and Lorenzo took time to explain how they took the WWE's business model to help grow their company:
"It wasn't about their product, it was about their business model, they had become very astute at selling their product and getting people to buy pay-per-views (PPV) by using free television. When we started, we had no traditional free press. Nobody was covering us, no one took us seriously as a sport. Therefore we had to turn to the WWE model which was, they have Monday Night Raw, Thursday Night Smackdown, which were television shows that told a story, and the story was trying to convince you to transact on Sunday night on PPV.
So we said look, it's going to take awhile for the free press to cover us, we don't have that long to wait, therefore we must buy our way on TV, get on that free-to-air format, tell our story, let the fans know who these fighters are and convince the fans to buy the PPV on Saturday night. So looking at their business plan was the key."
transcribed by MMAMania.com...