Kristina’s brief was to position Ultimate Fighting Championship as the world’s fastest growing spectator sport and to communicate the evolution of the sport to the Croatian and ExYu media as part of the UFC’s first ever event in Croatia.
Objectives: Raise awareness of UFC, their roster of elite athletes, their first live event in Croatia and to reach new audiences.
Background: MMA is a popular sport in Croatia with little associated negativity or misconception. However, there remain some audiences who are still unaware of MMA or are relatively uninformed. Most of the sport’s fighters are well educated business and family men. Kristina considered that sharing this during press opportunities was a powerful message and means to help to change the perception and image of the sport and its participants for the better.
We kicked off with a press conference in Zagreb to announce that UFC would come live from the Arena Zagreb two months later.
The UFC Fight Night Zagreb at the Arena was a sell out. I’ve ensured a number of key press and local high profile celebrities attended the event from Mario Mandzukic, Mirko Filipovic to mayor of Zagreb – all of which helped to ensure next day coverage.
Raising the profile of the sport’s key fighters has been a key part of the brief and I have facilitated Croatian interviews with a number of different fighters. Croatian fighter Igor Pokrajac soon became a spokesperson for UFC in the Croatia following Cro Cops suspension. I have also set up TV and print media interviews with other fighters Josh Barnett, Ben Rothwell, Junior Dos Santos.
Kristina Spionjak delivered a high profile campaign to launch the sport in the Croatia helping to sell out the event and educating the Croatian and regional press and public on mixed martial arts.
Efforts have secured that national tv station (Nova TV) purchases broadcasting rights to further UFC events. Helping to maintain the sports profile in the country for all other events.
A wide range of print coverage was achieved including great positioning pieces in the Jutarnji List Vecernji List, Slobodna Dalmacija, Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health, Gloria.
UFC EMEA VP James Elliott has been utilised for a number of high profile National print and TV opportunities prior to the Croatian event including a live interview for Good Morning Croatia (Dobro Jutro Hrvatska). Further broadcast coverage has included Nova TV, HRT, RTL and various regional radio. Regional press has also been plentiful.
Kristina Spionjak’s campaign for UFC helped to popularise the the sport in the Croatia, led to sell out arena, securing over 342 pieces of online coverage with 21.2m estimated coverage views, with €546,475 worth of media coverage.
Clients Testimonial: ‘’Kristina helped to support our team in driving awareness of the brand and sport, generating consistent and quality coverage around ticket sales and providing continuous momentum in the run up to what was a very successful event in Zagreb. She was a fantastic addition to the team for this project and I have continued to work with her as a result of this. ‘’ – Victoria Coghlan, Communications Director at UFC
Kristina’s Feedback on Working with the UFC: “I am incredibly proud to have been part of such a phenomenal organisation on this campaign and to have made my small impact on one of the fastest growing sports in the world. I can’t thank enough all those involved in letting me be a part of the UFC’s journey. No brand has ever inspired me as much UFC’s culture has.’’
Current Status: Following project completion, UFC continues to employ Kristina’s services on an ad hoc basis to cover Balkan fighters and relevant news. Since UFC Fight Night Zagreb Kristina has worked on Stipe Miocic’s Victory Tour, UFC 200, UFC 202, UFC 211, UFC 220.
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