Ad Trends

Media Buying Front Kick: How to Run iGaming Campaigns for MMA and Boxing?

igaming campaigns

This post is also available in: PT

In the rush of iGaming football campaigns, didn’t you forget about the other sports? They are not at all less profitable. Take MMA and boxing bouts — the most viewed one generated 4.6 million pay-per-view buys. And, by the way, martial arts have always attracted iGaming fans — MMA were probably created especially for them!

So, do you have any doubts about the traffic volumes for MMA and boxing iGaming campaigns? If not, read on, and we’ll reveal the secrets of how to earn from it. If so — still read on; we bet you will get encouraged.


Why Care About Fighting

Let the figures reply for us:

  • Boxing is the fourth most popular sport in the USA, the sixth top popular sport in South Africa, and the second in Mexico.
  • MMA is the third most viewed sport in Brazil and has the biggest fanbase in the United States.
  • Our research showed exciting traffic spikes during the big bouts; here is one example:

MMA and boxing iGaming campaigns statistics on the day and a week before the match between Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia, a rare cross-promotional boxing event; format:

Popunder ads:

DateImpressions
April 15, 202329 964 039
April 22, 202333 517 984  (12% growth)

So, as you see, there is more than enough traffic and enough people ready to convert.

So, our next question is: who are these people?


What Do We Know About MMA and Boxing Fans?

With the help of Statista and experienced media buyers, we created some kind of an MMA/Boxing fan buyer persona.

Look:

propellerads-mma-and-boxing-fans-persona

With this knowledge in mind, let’s go and set our campaign.


Setting Up MMA and Boxing iGaming Campaigns

As Maria Kotova, PropellerAds Sales Team Leader, puts it, 

‘iGaming campaigns related to boxing or MMA bouts are not entirely different from the other sports. So, it’s a pretty straightforward workflow, with Onclick format on the top of the game. However, you shouldn’t limit yourself to iGaming: VPN vertical also works great, as many viewers don’t have access to bouts’ broadcasts from their countries.

So, a quick guide.


Track the Events

We have a convenient calendar for our partners — you can quickly see all the events, including boxing and MMA bouts here:

This post is also available in: PTIn the rush of iGaming football campaigns, didn’t you forget about the other sports? They are not at all less profitable. Take MMA and boxing bouts — the most viewed one generated 4.6 million pay-per-view buys. And, by the way, martial arts have always attracted iGaming fans — MMA

Choose a GEO and a Format

This part is again based on our research. Here are some statistics we got from all MMA and boxing iGaming campaigns during the biggest fights.

This post is also available in: PTIn the rush of iGaming football campaigns, didn’t you forget about the other sports? They are not at all less profitable. Take MMA and boxing bouts — the most viewed one generated 4.6 million pay-per-view buys. And, by the way, martial arts have always attracted iGaming fans — MMA
  • Fight: Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou, October 28, 2023

This fight began a new era of cross-discipline bout: it was the first time a UFC champion faced a boxer. And, Ngannou had never boxed professionally before, while Fury’d been into boxing since he was 10! This created a lot of curiosity among the fans of both sports.

Stats by countries

Here is a list of the top GEOs that showed the biggest growth during the match compared to the previous weekend without any fights:

CountryImpressionsGrowth, %
GB9 863 804 (was 6 615 427) 49.1%
BR13 041 976 (was 9 476 399)37.63%
US3 551 995 (was 2 961 259)19.95%

As you see, a big match gave iGaming campaigns a boost in the countries with the most significant number of fighting fans — the USA, and Brazil — and also gained immense popularity in Great Britain, Fury’s motherland.

This post is also available in: PTIn the rush of iGaming football campaigns, didn’t you forget about the other sports? They are not at all less profitable. Take MMA and boxing bouts — the most viewed one generated 4.6 million pay-per-view buys. And, by the way, martial arts have always attracted iGaming fans — MMA

Stats by formats

Also, we checked which formats tended to grow compared to the previous weekend, which didn’t hold any fights. Here is what we got:

FormatImpressionsGrowth, %
Onclick66 208 750 (was 51 289 492)29.09%
Interstitials5 070 829 (was 4 476 650)13.27%
Push Notifications10 297 016 (was 8 574 288)20.09%

According to this statistic, you can safely mix and match Onclick, Push Ads, and Interstitial ads formats and play around with creatives to find the most converting one.

Pro-tip from PropellerAds: if you stick to the Onclick format with the CPM bidding, select the audience type depending on your campaign goal. You can either boost brand awareness using the Wide Reach audience or achieve the highest CRs with the High Intent option.

This post is also available in: PTIn the rush of iGaming football campaigns, didn’t you forget about the other sports? They are not at all less profitable. Take MMA and boxing bouts — the most viewed one generated 4.6 million pay-per-view buys. And, by the way, martial arts have always attracted iGaming fans — MMA
  • Fight: Alex Pereira vs. Israel Adesanya, April 8, 2023

Two big names met in the octagon for the second time. Their first MMA fight in November 2021 ended with Pereira’s win: he became the new UFC middleweight champion after knocking out Adesanya in the second round.

Stats by countries

Here are the GEOs that showed the most growth compared to April 1:

CountryImpressionsGrowth, %
BR5 587 295 (was 1 972 362)183.28%
US8 790 436 (was 1 429 425)514.96%
CA3 473 854 (was 832 005)317.53%
NZ1 273 434 (was 368 688)245.4%
AU1 751 038 (was 402 511)335.03%

With the USA and Canada on the top, this statistic also shows that fans tend to support their compatriots: Pereira’s Brazilian and Adesanya’s New Zealand roots evidently boosted NZ, AU, and BR GEOs.

This post is also available in: PTIn the rush of iGaming football campaigns, didn’t you forget about the other sports? They are not at all less profitable. Take MMA and boxing bouts — the most viewed one generated 4.6 million pay-per-view buys. And, by the way, martial arts have always attracted iGaming fans — MMA

Stats by formats

FormatImpressionsGrowth, %
Onclick47 094 615 (was 31 704 734)48.54%
Interstitials4 931 659 (was 2 087 202)136.28%
Push Notifications7 791 692 (was 5 689 490)36.95%

Onclick again has the largest number of impressions and shows the most intensive growth. Still, enhancing a campaign with Interstitials or Push traffic to scale and strive for a wider reach also seems a good idea. 

  • Fight: Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Volkanovski, October 21

This was a rematch of the first encounter between the two UFC lightweight champions. The result was in favor of Makhachev, but many disagreed with this verdict and so looked forward to seeing a second fight.

This post is also available in: PTIn the rush of iGaming football campaigns, didn’t you forget about the other sports? They are not at all less profitable. Take MMA and boxing bouts — the most viewed one generated 4.6 million pay-per-view buys. And, by the way, martial arts have always attracted iGaming fans — MMA

Stats by countries

CountryImpressionsGrowth, %
BR12 794 552 (was 6 142 303)108.3%
ZA2 590 971 (was 1 644 226)57.58%
NG874 770 (was 95 862)812.53%

With Brazil being on the top, the match has also gained a boost in African countries. This might be related Volkanovski’s Nigerian ancestry and the overall popularity of the fighters in South Africa and Nigeria.

Stats by formats

FormatImpressionsGrowth, %
Onclick51 289 492 (was 38 219 356)34.2%
Push Notifications11 119 327 (was 7 252 058)53.33%
Interstitials4 476 650 (was 2 432 669) 84.02%

With Onclick on the top of the performance again, Push Notifications also showed impressive growth for this bout.

This post is also available in: PTIn the rush of iGaming football campaigns, didn’t you forget about the other sports? They are not at all less profitable. Take MMA and boxing bouts — the most viewed one generated 4.6 million pay-per-view buys. And, by the way, martial arts have always attracted iGaming fans — MMA

According to these stats, we can make the following summary:

Top GEOs:

  • United States
  • Great Britain
  • Brazil
  • Canada

+ Mind the GEOs that might rise depending on the fighter’s roots/bout’s venue

Top Formats:

  • Onclick — the ultimate winner
  • Interstitial
  • Push Notifications

Get Creative

As our policy team reminds us, you must follow the same copyright rules with boxing and MMA ads as with other sports. A quick checklist for those who don’t know them:

  • You can’t use images of real fighters in your creatives
  • You can’t use official logos or fonts of any boxing/MMA organizations unless you are running direct offers from them. So, no UFC logotypes!
  • Country flags, images of models, and catchy (but not misleading!) headings — are more than welcome
This post is also available in: PTIn the rush of iGaming football campaigns, didn’t you forget about the other sports? They are not at all less profitable. Take MMA and boxing bouts — the most viewed one generated 4.6 million pay-per-view buys. And, by the way, martial arts have always attracted iGaming fans — MMA

So, what’s left? Quite a bit! Here are some tips and examples from Serge, a media buyer:

If you are running Popunder ads, you don’t need extra creatives — just a landing page. Push notifications work nicely when you adjust them for a particular fight, like ‘Guess who wins? Fighter A or Fighter B?’ or Who gets KO’d?’ or something like that.

Here are a couple of examples:


Schedule Your MMA and Boxing iGaming Campaigns

If your creatives are related to a particular fight, don’t forget about limiting your campaign’s time. It doesn’t make sense to go on with such creatives after a bout, so use the Campaign Schedule feature.

propellerads-mma-boxing-campaign-schedule

Pro-tip from PropellerAds: We suggest starting the event-oriented campaign at least 3 days before the big fight, maybe even more.


To Sum Up

Armed with the knowledge of your target audience, the schedule of fights, top GEOs, formats, and creative ideas, you can begin your campaign right away. The next big fight is just around the corner, so don’t miss out!

LAUNCH YOUR CAMPAIGN

Want to talk about ad campaigns targeting UFC events? Welcome to our Telegram chat!

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