Our blood brothers over at Cage Potato, easily the best place on the interwebs for all things MMA, made us privy to the following development: the Ultimate Fighting Championship announced yesterday that they are launching a website to cater to its Latino fan base. That’s right, folks. The premier MMA league that has a Mexican-American as its heavyweight champion (Cain Velasquez) has launched UFCLatino.com in an effort to cater to their growing Hispanic fan base.
From the UFC’s press release:
“UFCLatino.com, launching today, will serve bilingual UFC® fans by providing unique content in both Spanish and English. The site will cater to the culture of the blossoming audience of Hispanic fans who are drawn to the UFC’s fast-paced, exciting action. What’s more, the site will include news, video and special content featuring charismatic Hispanic stars such as UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, top welterweight Diego Sanchez, and Octagon® girl Arianny Celeste.”
On paper, this seems like a great move. The MMA organization found itself in a very favorable situation after Cain Velasquez gave UFC the keys to the Latino demographic last October when he knocked out then-heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar at UFC 121. On top of that, Hispanics have historically been big fans of sports where two dudes pummel each other (see: Puerto Ricans’ and Mexicans’ affinity for boxing). It seems like a no-brainer.
But here’s where they go wrong. For starters, the site’s logo is poorly thought out. As you can see below, the visual attached to UFC Latino features the company’s logo with a red, white, and green flag and the word “Latino” below it. We’re assuming that they chose that color scheme to allude to the Mexican flag. Poor form, guys. With that they’re basically equating Mexicans with Latinos. This theory is further reinforced by the fact that the personalities they chose to feature on the press release all have ties to Mexico (Diego Sanchez, Dominick Cruz and Cain Velasques are all Mexican-Americans while Arianny Celeste is three-quarters Mexican). We’re pretty sure our hermanos that are Boricuas, Cubanos, Dominicanos, Brasileiros, etc. won’t take too kindly to this.
There’s also the fact that the majority of the site’s content is entirely in Spanish. This would be great if it weren’t for the fact that not every Latino speaks or read Spanish. Yes, language is a great unifier for Hispanics, but that’s not what makes someone Latino. If that were the case, every white dude who took four years of Spanish in college would be one of us.
We appreciate the effort, UFC, but if you’re going to get us to watch your sport (we already do that, by the way), putting together a half-assed site where your main selling point to the Hispanic demographic is by featuring Mexican fighters and providing Spanish content just won’t cut it. The NBA tried that about two years ago (they basketball launched Éne-bé-a (the Spanish phonetic spelling of the NBA), and they employed the same strategy you guys are using now. And guess what happened? They just about failed.
At the end of the day, we have to say “thanks, but no thanks.” Just keep doing what you do and we’ll keep watching.