Conor McGregor Proves He Is a Master of Social Media Marketing
The UFC champion’s approach is not for the faint of heart, but it does work. And it seems to be genuine.
If you’re unfamiliar with Conor McGregor that means you’re probably unfamiliar with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the company bought in 2000 for $2 million and recently sold for $4 billion. (How’s that for an exit?)
McGregor is the current UFC featherweight champion since his loss to Nate Diaz in March was a non-title fight and is arguably the current face of the UFC.
Just days ago he was promoting his rematch with Diaz on August 20th at UFC 202when he was asked if he had ever considered wrestling in the WWE.
Here’s his response:
“I have thought about it. For the most part, I think these guys are (sissies), to be honest. They’re messed up (sissies) if you ask me. Fair play to Brock he’s referring to Brock Lesnar, a WWE wrestler who recently returned to the UFC and defeated Mark Hunt but then tested positive for PEDs). He got in and fought, but at the end of the day, he was juiced up to the (expletive) eyeballs. How can I respect that?”
The social media response from WWE fans was instantaneous and heated. So what did McGregor do? Apologize? If you think that, you don’t know McGregor.
Instead, he responded on Twitter:
“I didn’t mean no disrespect to the fans. What I meant to say was that I’d slap the head off your entire roster. And twice on Sundays.”
Not only did that re-engage WWE fans (why only engage when you can re-engage) it also sparked Twitter comments from a number of WWE superstars:
- Ric Flair: “Coming from a guy who built a career copying my persona, I expected the type of class we get from Ronda (Rousey) or Anderson (Silva).
- Chris Jericho: “Sorry pal no disrespect to u, but my fights are legit, unlike the fixed fights u have in @UFC. I’ll embarrass u.”
- Roman Reigns: “Your (sic) the size of my leg. Shut up.”
- MVP: “The way Nate Diaz Stockton slapped you or nah?”
- Ric Flair (because too much Ric Flair is never enough): “After Diaz finishes you again, I dare you to try guys like Dolph, Brock, or Fit. Oh you’re welcome for your gimmick.”
I know what you’re thinking: Twitter wars happen all the time. But McGregor isn’t just a fighter. His job is also to promote his fights. He’s brash, cocky, outspoken… he creates headlines. He moves needles.
And this time he managed to get professional wrestlers with combined followings totaling approximately 14 million people to talk about him — which means their followers talked about him, and their connections talked about him…
Some people get a kick out of some of the things McGregor says. (I’m one of them.) Other people can’t stand some of the things he says and hope he gets his comeuppance.
And that’s okay. To paraphrase the executive in Private Parts who tells Kenny why so many people listen to Howard Stern: love him or hate him, you can’t help but pay attention to Conor McGregor.
So while you might not want to go to the extremes McGregor is clearly willing to go… you can learn a lot from how he not only gains attention, but also builds the brand he has chosen to build.
Like that brand or not, you definitely know what it is – and he definitely knows how to keep his brand in the public eye.
Article written by Jeff Haden. Follow Jeff of twitter @jeff_haden.1