So far, so good: UFC not becoming a generic term for MMA.

MMAPlayground.com » MMA General » UFC Forum » So far, so good: UFC not becoming a generic term for MMA.
AchillesHeel
7/24/07 11:45:43AM
There's a phenomenon in marketing in which a product becomes so popular and ubiquitous that it's brand-name actually loses it's functionality and effectively becomes a generic term for the product. (I think there's a term for this, although I can't remember what it is. Any business or marketing majors here?)

Kleenex is the best example of this. The product is actually something like "facial tissue" (see? I'm not even sure what it's called), but people call them all "kleenex" even when they aren't buying Kleenex.

I've been worried that the UFC would face this problem, and it's name would literally become synonymous with mixed martial arts. This would be terrible for both the UFC and the sport as a whole, imho, although I'm sure Dana White wants the UFC to become figuratively synonymous with MMA. Coca-Cola nearly became the single brand-name in cola, until Pepsi-Cola came along. However, since Pride FC seems to be going the way of the Dodo, the UFC appears to stand preeminent, for better or for worse.

Anyway, I was watching the video of the E3 announcement by THQ and the guy said "mixed martial arts" (and not "ultimate fighting") and that they had "signed an exclusive agreement with the number-1 MMA brand in the world, the Ultimate Fighting Championship." It's good marketing, imho, both for the UFC and for MMA more generally, to distinguish the two from each other. I hope the trend continues.
GrandMaster313
7/24/07 11:48:41AM
SpiderSilva
7/24/07 12:34:59PM
Yeah your right UFC could turn into some thing like "Band-Aid"
it could really help in the US and grow
k_lup07
7/24/07 1:47:48PM
i was watching 'around the horn' a couple months ago and they were talking ufc/mma and it was obvious they didnt know shit especially one guy. he was like 'its good for the mma to get attention since ufc is so popular' as if mma was an organization. its was a while ago, so i cant remember exactly what was said, but that was the gist.

also noticed that in maxim (my friends sister made it in the hometown hotties) some of girls listed their favorite SPORT as ufc
SteedTheDeed
7/24/07 2:26:58PM
UFC is what people call the sport daily. I always hear dumb people saying "i just joined a UFC gym", "i have a UFC fight coming up", "do you train UFC?". I hear this from people who see me wearing an MMA shirt, my brothers friends and people who i go to college with. I always tell them "its called MMA not UFC, you wouldn't say lets go play some NBA would you? You would say lets go play basketball" It always makes me angry.
k_lup07
7/24/07 2:52:28PM
haha and people use it as a noun. 'im UFC-ing that kid after school'

i guess you just have to take good and bad to get the exposure
AchillesHeel
7/24/07 3:23:43PM

Posted by SpiderSilva

Yeah your right UFC could turn into some thing like "Band-Aid"
it could really help in the US and grow


Right, Band-Aid is another one.


Posted by SteedTheDeed

[...]you wouldn't say lets go play some NBA would you?


Hehe. Well... I wouldn't, but I guess I can't speak for everyone...


Posted by k_lup07

haha and people use it as a noun. 'im UFC-ing that kid after school'


I think that would be a verb.
grappler0000
7/24/07 8:52:59PM
It's called a proprietary eponym. Yes, I hear Ultimate Fighting all the time...and when you say MMA, you get the look.
k_lup07
7/24/07 10:44:17PM
my bad, wasnt thinking. still gay though
AchillesHeel
7/25/07 12:01:50PM

Posted by grappler0000

It's called a proprietary eponym.


Cool, thanks. I knew there was a term for it.


Yes, I hear Ultimate Fighting all the time...and when you say MMA, you get the look.

Yes, I know what you mean. I usually say "mixed martial arts" when I'm not talking to someone I know is already a fan. Sometimes I still get that look, and then have to say "...like in the UFC."

I noticed that ESPN's web site has a "Mixed Martial Arts" page, but NBC Sports' web site has a "UFC" page. Ironically, FOX Sports, which has featured Pride, the UFC, and the IFL in various forms on their cable television network, still puts MMA stories on the boxing page of their web site.

Baby steps, I guess.

We need to get Rob Dibble to put the FOX Sports web-master in an ankle lock until he updates their site (Dibble practices MMA, and appears on "The Best Damn Sports Show Period", which has featured MMA fights and personalities several times - he probably still throws a mean fastball too... I had him on my "Strat-O-Matic" team, back in the day... ).

Signal2112
7/25/07 4:08:42PM
We're still in the formative years of this sport, wider recogniton will come, but I'm glad they are calling it MMA and not UFC. I mean, come on, I'd rather be watching Pride!
zephead
7/25/07 6:38:44PM
I'd rather be watching MMA
Ydoc
7/26/07 12:27:06AM
Good post. I always enjoy your posts, Heel. Always all very well though out and paragraphed well.

I think getting MMA mixed up with UFC will only be a problem with people who don't do their homework. And as more media outlets cover MMA we'll be able to pick out the more reliable sources as the ones that get it right, otherwise your probably just watching some clowns try to cash in on the UFC's rising star and the general growth of MMA. It'll actually become a great way to filter out crap.

My favorite example of brand overwhelming the product is Jell-O. They've done a great job of putting their name over Gelatin itself.
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