It’s the final Sports Business Round Up of the month, and there’s only one way it’s going out, and that’s with a bang! Conor McGregor remains a pivotal figure in MMA despite his defeat at UFC 257, how far can the potential stretch for Triller’s newly formed fight club? Manchester City keeps China at the core of their club audience with a new collaboration. Naomi Osaka finishes off the year with a revolutionary partnership, and the 2032 Olympics could be seen in one nation for the first time EVER, but which one? 

UFC257 could be one of the highest PPV’s to date

ESPN+ acquired 1.2m pay-per-view (PPV) buys from The Diamond knocking out The Notorious One last weekend. Total global sales equate to 1.6m from another 400,000 international purchases. The UFC president, Dana White, is confident this card will become one of the UFC’s highest-selling events.

Sports Business Round Up


The UFC scored significant social rankings too. They accumulated 43m engagements and nearly 100,000 mentions during fight week. 

Following Poirier’s victory, he gained 520,000 new social media followers. However, despite McGregor losing, the Irishman generated 439,000 new social media followers, 76,000 mentions during fight week, 49,000 live-event mentions and 22.7m online engagements. Plus, 12,000 discussions appeared mentioning McGregor and arch-nemesis, Khabib Nurmagomedov. 

The analytics demonstrate even though Conor lost; he remains a highly marketable asset in the sport. Khabib’s prominence on the UFC’s fight week content presented a demand for Conor’s rematch to happen. This event showcased strategies right holders can utilise to influence their athlete’s followings to strengthen brand messaging and create critical moments. 

Triller’s fight club is set to make history with Jake Paul vs Ben Askren

2021 becomes even more unorthodox with the controversial creator, Jake Paul, headlining micro-video platform, Triller’s, second boxing match against MMA star, Ben Askren. The two will clash on the 17th April with hopes that it beats the PPV figures scored by the nostalgic Tyson vs Jones Jr card held last year. 


The 20th of January saw the Ohio-born influencer live on Triller to announce he’d be fighting in April, but no fighter was confirmed. This became Triller’s most-viewed live stream. The video-sharing channel also plans to launch an exclusive docuseries focused on Paul’s training camp’s leading up to the revolutionary event. 

US rapper, Snoop Dogg, will be live on the commentary panel after his punditry having many in hysterics at the Tyson vs Jones Jr card last year. Triller has announced they plan on launching other surprise events for fans in the upcoming months. Triller’s ‘Fight Club’ project is an innovative campaign which draws in a new sports culture of influencer-led sport, regenerating boxing to a broader audience of millennials and tech-savvy youngsters. 

Manchester City strengthen ties across China

Sports Innovation Lab’s most innovative sports club has collaborated with the Chinese payment firm, Alipay, to ignite an eCommerce channel for its Chinese fanbase. The platform will have exclusive video content, retail offers, competition programmes and other membership services. 

Man City China sports business


Man City are the first international football club to launch a mini-program through Alipay to interact with their fans directly. However, the two parties have worked together for almost a decade. In 2013, City unveiled their official homepage on video hosting service, Youku. Plus, the clubs global leading store entered Alibaba’s Tmall International. 

City’s involvement with Alipay has broadened its digital outreach across Chinese and Asian territory. This initiative will strengthen the two’s relationship one step further through the beauty of digitally-led solutions.  

Naomi Osaka lands a new job at a Women’s soccer club

The three-time Grand Slam winner becomes the first investor of women’s soccer team, North Carolina Courage since their owner, Steve Malik’s purchase in 2017. Naomi will act as the club’s strategic advisor by focusing on growing its brand, combating social issues and championing women’s sport. 

Naomi Osaka


The 23-year-old has had long-standing ambitions to be involved with the National Women’s Soccer League (NSWL) as she can see huge potential for the competition. She admires the club’s efforts to promoting diversity and equality in the community, which significantly inspires upcoming sportswomen. 

Courage will explore pathways to champion Naomi’s passion and aptitude to get the Japanese star involved in the club’s design decisions this year. Naomi’s involvement with North Carolina Courage presents a global opportunity for ambitious sportswomen to cross over into different trades to create a groundbreaking voice for female sport. 

Hungary aim to create sporting history with an ambitious Olympic bid

The heart of Europe holds high ambitions for sporting greatness as they’ve created a committee to review the likelihood of capital city, Budapest, hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2032. Hungary had no luck in 1916, 1920, 1936, 1944 and 1960 with bringing the games to its people.

Hungary Olympics sports business


Their new committee will be led by a former chairman of the Budapest stock exchange, Attila Szalay-Berzeviczy. His panel will involve other multi-industry leaders including Gabriella Balogh, Gabriella Heiszler, Csaba Lantos, Sándor Nyúl, Gábor Orbán, Anett Pandurics and József Váradi.

Hungary has hot competition for the 2032 games. India, Turkey, Germany, Australia, Indonesia and Qatar have all expressed a desire to host one of sports’ most lucrative occasion. Nevertheless, it will be fascinating to witness Hungary deliver the event to gain an insight into Hungarian sports culture. 

That’s it this week for the Sports Business Round Up! Will every highest-selling UFC event be associated with Conor McGregor? Could Jake Paul vs Ben Askren be Trillers most commercially successful sports occasion yet? Could Manchester City’s collaboration with Alipay keep them as Sports Innovation Labs most pioneering sports property? Has Naomi Osaka inspired a new athletic movement of sporting crossovers? And, would you like to see Hungary host the Olympics? 

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