TAMPA, FL: Mixed martial arts organization Xtreme Fighting Championships (XFC) hired French/West/Vaughan as its first AOR to focus on media outreach and brand awareness in the crowded extreme-sport marketplace.
Mixed martial arts leagues have moved into the mainstream sports world in recent years. Rival organization EliteXC, for example, aired a fight show on CBS in May.
The agency is conducting media outreach to local, national, and trade outlets for XFC live events, promoting its outreach work to the Armed Forces, pay-per-view events, and the organization's top fighters, said Jack Glasure, FWV's CMO. FWV will also promote the organization on the Web via viral expansion loops and widgets, he added.
John Prisco, XFC president and CEO, said the Web factors heavily into the strategy of the company, whose main audience is males, ages 18 to 34; motorcycle groups; and members of the military.
"We're definitely going to be a Web-based company," he said of XFC, founded in January 2007. "We're going to be doing TV, too, but we understand that the future is on the Internet, and that's where our big focus is right now."
FWV is promoting the launch of streaming media on XFC's Web site on September 13 and its first pay-per-view event on December 5.
Prisco noted that goals for the term of the contract include a move into international markets.
"[We'd like] to activate new markets and sponsorships, and open up international markets," Prisco said. "Internationally, [mixed martial arts] is extremely popular."
The budget for the year-long account is in the six-figure range, Glasure said, adding that there was no competitive search. FWV had conducted media outreach for XFC prior to becoming AOR, he explained.