mma share – The Top MMA Content Aggregator

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The Growth and Potential of the MMA Industry

Mixed martial arts (MMA) has exploded in popularity over the past two decades, growing from a niche sport to a global phenomenon. The MMA industry generated an estimated $900 million in revenue in 2021, and that number is projected to exceed $1.5 billion by 2025 according to research.

The Rise of MMA Promotions

A key driver of this growth has been major MMA promotions like the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The UFC staged its first event in 1993 and has led the way in bringing MMA into the mainstream and making household names out of fighters like Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey, and Jon Jones.

Other leading promotions have also contributed significantly to MMA’s growth. Bellator MMA, ONE Championship, and the Professional Fighters League (PFL) give fighters more opportunities to compete on big stages while also expanding the sport’s reach worldwide. MMA content and merchandise deals – like the UFC’s partnerships with ESPN and Panini – have further accelerated the industry’s rise.

MMA Gyms Capitalizing on Growth

With MMA’s soaring popularity has come rising participation rates and an increasing number of fans wanting to train in the sport. MMA gyms have sprouted up all over to meet this demand. Well-known chains like American Top Team, American Kickboxing Academy, and Team Alpha Male have all expanded. There are now over 10,000 MMA gyms operating globally.

The gym industry serves as both a revenue stream and a talent development pipeline for MMA promotions. Gyms sell merchandise, sponsorships, advertising, and community programs on top of memberships and training fees. Some also receive development fees from promotions when they produce homegrown talent.

Streaming & Social Media Driving Viewership

While MMA content has been available on various broadcast and cable platforms over the years, streaming and social media have enabled promotions to connect directly with fans.

The UFC’s partnership with ESPN+ helped them shatter previous records for pay-per-view buys and subscriptions. In 2021, UFC content generated over $930 million in revenue from media rights deals according to reports – a number expected to reach $1.2 billion in the next two years.

Social media has also been pivotal, allowing fighters and promoters to engage fans daily. Top MMA stars have cultivated huge followings that drive interest in their fights and brand partnerships. Conor McGregor became the world’s highest-paid athlete largely thanks to his 152 million collective social media followers.

MMA Betting Booming into Big Business

The rise of mobile sports betting and MMA’s growth into new U.S. markets has spawned a massive MMA betting industry. In 2016, Nevada – the country’s sports betting epicenter – took in $20 million in bets on MMA events. By 2020, that number skyrocketed to over $650 million.

With more U.S. states legalizing online sports betting, some project MMA betting handle to exceed $1 billion in the next 5 years. Prominent sportsbooks like FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM are getting in on the action – running odds boosts, free bets, and other special offers tied specifically to MMA bouts.

As sportsbooks have enjoyed an MMA betting boom, many MMA promoters have also tapped into this revenue stream. Promotions are partnering with data providers to power things like proprietary odds feeds and fantasy games centered around their events.

With these integrated gaming-media deals, surging betting handle, and a growing global audience, MMA still appears to be just scraping the surface of its earnings potential. The future looks bright for companies leveraging MMA content and the industry’s continued expansion into new markets.

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