Case Study: Discover UFC® Website Design

July 21, 2011

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Mixed martial arts (MMA) is recognized as the fastest growing sport in the world, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) is the world’s leading MMA promoter. As much as MMA and the UFC® are growing in popularity, the sport was generally not well understood by fans and potential fans, and the industry lacked a reliable, central source of information.

As the leading promoters of MMA, UFC®’s goal is to become the authority on everything MMA. UFC commissioned ROBOT to develop a website, known as Discover UFC®, that would be an extension of the main UFC® website explaining the background of MMA, the UFC®, the fighters, the rules and more.

While there are a handful of smaller MMA promoters and a variety of websites and blogs discussing MMA news, Discover UFC® is the first attempt to broadly educate the masses on all aspects of MMA. It is the first centralized source of background information on the sport, complete with a searchable glossary, descriptions of skills and fighting styles and introductions to key individuals.

Project Description
Discover UFC® is a sub-section of www.ufc.com that is meant to be an educational resource for new UFC® fans or people that are new to the MMA sport. The site is divided into five main sections – the Fighter, the Sport, the UFC, the Fan and a glossary of terms. The content of these sections introduces the most fundamental information a person new to the sport needs to quickly become familiar with MMA and the UFC®.

  • The Fighter section of the site uses videos, examples and history to explain the skills and techniques fighters must perfect and describes the multiple martial arts styles for which the fighters train. It also describes the discipline, endurance, intense training and nutrition required to be a UFC® fighter, with example biographies of real fighters.
  • The Sport section covers the different ways a fighter can win, how the weight classes are divided, information about the fighting cage known as The Octagon™, rules and regulations of the sport and a collection of links to the UFC®’s favorite fights. The Weight Classes page contains a full history of title holders for each weight class, presented through an interactive, expandable table.
  • The UFC® section provides a history of the organization and introduces key figures, including the executives, commentators and announcers.
  • The Fan section encourages further fan engagement by providing links to resources such as pre-event shows, Fan Expos and video games.
  • Finally, the glossary defines the moves, phrases and key events to help fans new to the sport get quickly versed in the terminology. In addition to the major sections of the site, a search feature allows visitors to quickly find content anywhere on Discover UFC®.

Visit the website at www.ufc.com/discover.

Results
Success of Discover UFC® as a resource for site visitors can be shown in the statistics since it went live. A total of 42,829 people have visited the Discover UFC® section of the UFC® website since the section went live in May of 2011. Compared to www.ufc.com visitors who did not visit Discover UFC, visitors who did visit Discover UFC stayed on www.ufc.com over 4-and-a-half minutes longer (7:57 compared to 3:17) and visited 3.48 more pages (6.42 pages compared to 2.94) on average. The bounce rate for visitors who viewed Discover UFC was also 59% lower than the bounce rate for visitors who did not (21.02% compared to 51.04%).

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