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:
|April 15, 2023||29 964 039|
|April 22, 2023||33 517 984 (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.
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:
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.
- 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:
|GB||9 863 804 (was 6 615 427)||49.1%|
|BR||13 041 976 (was 9 476 399)||37.63%|
|US||3 551 995 (was 2 961 259)||19.95%|
As you see, a big match gave iGaming campaigns boost in the countries with the most significant number of fighting fans — USA, Brazil — and also gained immense popularity in Great Britain, Fury’s motherland.
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:
|Onclick||66 208 750 (was 51 289 492)||29.09%|
|Interstitials||5 070 829 (was 4 476 650)||13.27%|
|Push Notifications||10 297 016 (was 8 574 288)||20.09%|
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.
- 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:
|BR||5 587 295 (was 1 972 362)||183.28%|
|US||8 790 436 (was 1 429 425)||514.96%|
|CA||3 473 854 (was 832 005)||317.53%|
|NZ||1 273 434 (was 368 688)||245.4%|
|AU||1 751 038 (was 402 511)||335.03%|
With USA and Canada on the top, this statistic also shows that fans tend to support their compatriots: Pereira’s New Zealand and Adesanya’s Brazilian roots evidently boosted NZ, AU, and BR GEOs.
Stats by formats
|Onclick||47 094 615 (was 31 704 734)||48.54%|
|Interstitials||4 931 659 (was 2 087 202)||136.28%|
|Push Notifications||7 791 692 (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.
Stats by countries
|BR||12 794 552 (was 6 142 303)||108.3%|
|ZA||2 590 971 (was 1 644 226)||57.58%|
|NG||874 770 (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
|Onclick||51 289 492 (was 38 219 356)||34.2%|
|Push Notifications||11 119 327 (was 7 252 058)||53.33%|
|Interstitials||4 476 650 (was 2 432 669)||84.02%|
With Onclick on the top of the performance again, Push Notifications also showed impressive growth for this bout.
According to these stats, we can make the following summary:
- United States
- Great Britain
+ Mind the GEOs that might rise depending on the fighter’s roots/bout’s venue
- Onclick — the ultimate winner
- Push Notifications
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
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.
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!
Want to talk about ad campaigns targeting UFC events? Welcome to our Telegram chat!