Celebrating two years of partnership with UFC, Tamara Babits, Business Development Director at Parimatch, explains how the operator and the Mixed Martial Arts company have grown together over the last 24 months, finding common ground in their fighting spirit; as shown by their ability to adapt to the current fast-changing market.
iGaming Times: How has your partnership with UFC grown since you first signed? Have you been impressed with its ability to adapt to the current circumstances?
Tamara Babits, Business Development Director at Parimatch: The UFC has become more than just our strategy partner, we share common values of the power of will and spirit. We are proud that against all odds Dana White and the UFC didn’t succumb to panic and managed to adapt to new realities, and so did Parimatch, during the pandemic we boldly implemented different projects and virtual and Esports tournaments.
IGT: After two years of being partnered with the UFC, how has it affected the brand and how far has Parimatch progressed since then?
TB: Our brand strategy and positioning revolve around the fighting spirit of will power. We didn’t just buy sponsorship placement on the Octagon, we sign regional UFC fighters and we are actively equipping UFC flagship fights in all of our five operating territories. Our brand strategy, tone of voice, is based on the life values of UFC fighters. We even have a zero percent margin on all UFC fight lines! The volume of bets on sports has increased four times since 2018. Therefore, I’d like to emphasize the fact that sponsorship collaboration is always win-win for both parties. Parimatch has grown two times in a couple of years, so for each of our partners we are a strong platform for integration into the CIS countries. Meanwhile, the UFC regularly holds events in the CIS. These events are always a furor with excellent preparation and incredible people.
IGT: Why are Parimatch and UFC such a good fit?
TB: Because we ourselves, the leads of the company, are UFC fans! When the heads of the company love sports, then there can be no other way. Parimatch brand is a brand for men who are impulsive and bold. This applies not just to the brand strategy, but also to the values and the culture of our company. With the UFC, we share common values with our audience.
IGT: What about general Sponsorship strategy? How do you measure ROI?
TB: We’ve been operating in the CIS market for a long time, we have a total of about 40 sponsorship contracts, including both classic sports and cyber sports organizations. Parimatch is focused on scaling and entering international markets. You are sure to hear news about our future contracts.
Competition and glut of brands during sports broadcasts move the payback point. While advertisers believe that the most valuable asset is image rights, we value the opportunity to engage our audience in live activities. Such a contact provides an access to the fan base, implementation of creative common projects aimed at strengthening the engagement rate, appearance in video broadcasts, and participation of stars in advertising campaigns.
IGT: As well as the UFC deal you’ve signed on Conor McGregor and Pjotr Yan over the last two years. Will you be looking for more ambassadors if the right personality and opportunity presents itself?
TB: We work with Conor McGregor, the Shevchenko sisters, Artemy Lobov (but he left the UFC), Pjotr Yan, and Arman Tsarukyan. We are negotiating with Mariya Agapova, she is a talented Kazakh who made her debut at the UFC. It is not easy for young novice fighters, and we support local fighters. We are always open to proposals and negotiations.