With Strikeforce slowly winding it’s way towards it’s first show on CBS, everyone has been asking “Where’s the big promotional push from the network?” Thus far CBS has barely lifted a pinky to advertise their big fight on November 7th. And while they could definitely make up for this with one or two weeks of half decent advertising during CBS’s ample football programming, former EliteXC marketing manager Patrick Freitas says don’t hold your breath:
When i was the marketing manager at EliteXC it always troubled me that CBS (aside from the event that followed March Madness) did a bare minumum job of promoting the brand & events. EliteXC’s leadership was mostly to blame for its failure, but CBS also contributed by failing to actively promote the brand. and now it kinda looks like they’re giving Strikeforce the same red-headed stepchild treatment. its not enough just to broadcast the live event…it has to be heavily promoted to the viewers first, especially with the UFC’s monopoly standing in the sport. and 2-3 week out promos just dont cut it…Fedor v Rogers was announced a while ago, so there’s been ample time to kickstart the campaign to make it a huge success.
SpikeTV promotes the UFC at every break. CBS cant do the same volume, but – aside from a regular promo schedule – there should at least be more of a concerted effort to cross promote, especially with CBS’ sports, late night talk, and morning news programs. there’s also available program inventory on the weekends that could be used for a countdown show. and there’s also a complete lack of any viral campaign, which is inexcusable given the nature of the fanbase.
CBS’s attitude thus far with MMA has been to slip it into the lineup and let it sink or swim on it’s own merit. Yeah, that’s super fucking dumb especially now that they’ve got the best fighter in the world fighting on their card, but the UFC doesn’t have it’s stranglehold on the sport just because they’re awesome (and ruthless) at what they do. It takes a whole bunch of other people fucking up to keep things that way.