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How to Become Asia’s Biggest Global Sports Media Property: Secrets from ONE Championship

The organization’s top brass believes it is due to the aggressive focus on social media and TV distribution growth.

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BY team-inc - 20 Nov 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: ONE Championship

As 2017 comes to a close, ONE Championship looks back on a phenomenal year — one that saw the promotion transform into the largest global sports media property in Asian history. Projected to have an even bigger 2018, ONE Championship is pulling out all the stops in showcasing Asia’s greatest cultural treasure — martial arts.

But how did the organization achieve such a feat? The organization’s top brass believes it is due to the aggressive focus on social media and TV distribution growth. The company cites statistics gathered by Nielsen, Facebook, and Repucom, saying that ONE Championship is on pace to close out 2017 with tremendous increases in reach and viewership.

ONE Championship has quickly become Asia’s premier martial arts organization, and has been a contender in both social media and television viewership metrics since its inception in 2011.

One huge factor for its success, the company says, is the authenticity of its content — focusing on developing homegrown martial arts superheroes. Heroes like Singapore’s Angela Lee, Australia’s Martin Nguyen, and Myanmar’s Aung La N Sang all have backgrounds that many fans can relate to.

According to company data, it has managed to garner 8.3 billion social media impressions in 2017 from only 352 million in 2014. Social media video views totaled 1.5 billion across multiple platforms, compared to a meager 312,000 just three years prior.

By engaging fans on social media, ONE Championship opens new communication channels with their audience that can be measured and valued as new commercial opportunities with sponsors.

Source: ONE Championship

As for TV viewership statistics, particularly in Asia where the promotion has placed its primary focus, data from the company reveal that in the past three years, ONE has come to a peak TV ratings share of 1-2% to 11-36% projected by the end of 2017. In comparison, the company notes, TV ratings in Asia for global sports media properties such as the EPL, F1, and the NBA only sit at 1-6%. This includes an increase in annual TV broadcast per core country, coming from 12-18 hours to 100-2,800 hours — a spike of more than 230 times.

The company sees its recent growth as rivaling that of Formula One (F1), the highest class of single-seat auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).

As an example, ONE Championship compares its 24 events slated in 2018 to the scheduled 21 events of F1. It also cites ONE’s 1 billion potential global broadcast reach as coming close to F1’s 1.5 billion. On the social media front, ONE has a 5-million user fanbase, with over 1.3-million average Facebook video views. In contrast, it says, F1 has only registered 3.86-million with 400,000 average views.

The audience ONE reaches on a global scale today is a potential one billion on any given night, as the promotion operates in over 128 countries worldwide. According to ONE Championship, a large part of its success can be attributed to their relentless business and growth model, and aggressive strategies to reach audiences.

As the popularity of martial arts continues to rise in Asia, one organization is leading the charge by telling its most inspirational stories on the biggest global stage of martial arts competition. ONE Championship takes pride in its local martial arts heroes who have built massive followings over the past few years.