Guest post by Jason Genet
In April of 2012, MetroPCS announced the formation of Team MetroPCS, featuring Ultimate Fighting Championship athletes Cain Velasquez and Frankie Edgar. The deal put Velasquez and Edgar as the brand ambassadors for MetroPCS. The athletes give MMA fans a behind the scenes look as they prepare for their upcoming matches and provide unique content to MetroPCS subscribers.
Prior to that, the UFC and MetroPCS entered into a partnership. The multi-year sponsorship agreement includes MetroPCS signage at all domestic UFC events, a presence in UFC Pay-Per-View event broadcasts, fighter endorsements and appearances, retail promotions and UFC branded MetroPCS products. MetroPCS also delivers exclusive video and other mobile content to fans, such as highlights of the week, UFC personality profiles, special segments and more. The first event featuring MetroPCS was UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem on Friday, Dec. 30.
It was recently announced that MetroPCS is in talks with several potential merger partners. It is rumored that MetroPCS is in talks with telecommunications giants Sprint, T-Mobile, and satellite provider Dish Network. The stock of MetroPCS has seen its value increase over 40 percent over the last 12 months. The merger talks are not hurting the stock price either.
It is not clear how the sale will affect the company’s MMA sponsorship. Dish Network is a suitor that sees the value in the UFC’s platform. AT&T has turned down such opportunities on several occasions claiming MMA was not a fit for their brand. T-Mobile is an edgy tier one provider and could likely see the fit.
There is no question that MetroPCS has done a great job promoting its brand within the UFC and connecting with the fans through its Team MetroPCS program. Time will tell which company ends up buying MetroPCS and what the longterm effects are on the company’s sponsorship in the MMA space.