How Social Media is Driving this Sports Brand

2017-02-21 by Ronn Torossian

MMA PUBLIC RELATIONS - conor mcgregor marketing

Mixed martial arts is big business these days, arguably more popular than boxing, especially in the United States with UFC superstar Conor McGregor getting press every time he pauses five minutes to glance at a camera. When McGregor and boxing legend Floyd “Money” Mayweather tentatively agreed to a money split for a rumored fight, headlines were written as if the fight was on. That’s the power of the octagon to influence pugilist entertainment.

Meanwhile, a host of other similar martial pursuits are making a comeback. Both karate and kickboxing are seeing a resurgence thanks to MMA. And, though Muay Thai (kickboxing) is not all the rage in the West, the internet is a great equalizer.

Thailand is the cradle of and the biggest market for Muay Thai … well, that, and Jean-Claude Van Damme movies. But some industry related brands are not content to stay local. They want global exposure, and they are leaning heavily on social media to make that happen. Yokkao, a Muay Thai equipment based out of Bangkok, recently launched an aggressive online campaign to turn social media into a goldmine for interest to drive sales.

Speaking to CNN, product design head for Yokkao, Stefania Picelli, said, “We started with Facebook and YouTube… On YouTube, we released training videos with fighters in full HD…”

The videos are compelling and energetic, introducing the sport of Muay Thai to an audience primed and hungry for more martial sport. And it’s much better than the movies. Muay Thai is acrobatic, fast-paced and ultra-violent, all qualities that play very well in a quick visual medium like YouTube.

There’s also a pageantry to it, along with a flavor of “face” versus “heel” right out of professional wrestling. This plays extremely well, and it hearkens back to the best days of boxing when it was as much a fight between personalities and fan favorites than pugilists. Taken together, the videos are a stark and compelling introduction to a sport most Westerners have spent little time on, but could get into, if it was packaged properly.

One of the ways to do this is through story, and Yokkao does this by highlighting Muay Thai heroes like Saenchai, who claims an incredible 300 wins in his career, impressively across multiple weight classes.

Yokkao is also smartly connecting with felt wants and needs of its customers. They want to know how to train, how to eat, and how to exercise to get better at kickboxing, so the company uses YouTube to answer all of these legitimate questions. They did the research, and now they are giving a huge new potential client group what they want.

About Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations. He is an experienced leader in the public relations industry with over 20 years of experience. Ronn Torossian has been named as Public Relations executive of the year by the American Business Awards, and has run countless award-winning Public Relations programs.

ronn torossian 5wpr ceo

Ronn Torossian: Insights from a Native New Yorker and CEO of 5WPR

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 250 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities