BAMMA have had a mixed year with a few high profile defections of their fighters to other promotions, online trashing by those on their books and a reaffirmation of their leaning towards promoting celebrities on its roster over emerging and established talent they have signed.
BAMMA has stepped up the number of shows it puts on since the dark days when we saw them once or twice a year. Their production values are the best of their class in particular their fight posters are worthy of note. They arguably stand head and shoulders above its competition.
In terms of bums on seats watching their product BAMMA are one of the leaders of the pack. Whilst many may question the business acumen of the promotion its clear they are getting a tangible return on thier investment in exalting their newest darling, Aaron Chalmers, to the position of head boy. It’s undeniable that a lot of resources and promotion have been put towards Chalmers but the resulting upsurge in ticket sales and indeed widespread interest have been exponential.
There has been a steady decline in BAMMA’s social media output over the last twelve months. Whilst we once enjoyed the previous social media interactions by way of competitions, giveaways, a build up in anticipation of fighter signings and forthcoming cards, BAMMA have cut these back considerably. Its interaction with fans and fighters alike have also fallen by the wayside. Whether its neatly drawing your attention to fighter feuds, emerging story lines, or possible forays into overseas markets the promotion no longer gives you cause to believe it is ‘Europe’s leading mixed martial arts promotion’
Notable gaffs like online streams being delayed without notice and the status of its belts could all have been neatly dealt with using their social media channels but unfortunately BAMMA were woeful at best in their handling of these pretty important details.
By way of getting their product to the masses and moving towards a mainstreaming of its offering BAMMA is number one in a field of one. Having secured a broadcasting deal with ITV 4 BAMMA have obtained the holy grail of which all UK promotions have yet to grasp. It’s a veritable coup for the promotion and has literally put a thumb in the eye of its competition, a powermove of sorts, which its management and fight roster should be proud of.
Attention To Detail
This is not BAMMA’s stongest trait. When your main event gets given ‘Championship’ status without you alerting the media its surely a sign that perhaps you should indeed involve those who are integral to the success of your brand succeeding or tanking. It’s a minor failing, all things being considered, when you look at the pristine way in which the product is displayed with arguably one of the best commentary teams in the business, superbly lit fights and posters which cleverly reference popular culture it’s pretty clear that a lot of thought and attention goes into creating a product that engages and enthralls its audience.
Overall Mark A-
BAMMA is by far a potential market leader in the UK but has some way to go before it reaches the heady heights of its strap line which somewhat serves as an aspirational mantra at present. They have made some outstanding achievements in the way their product reaches the masses this year but if it is to be truly successful it will need to pay closer attention to the smaller aspects of its parts which play an important role in the way the brand is perceived. Partnering up with Bellator hasn’t quite worked out the way in which either promotion have hoped but what it has underlined is that because of its matchmaking BAMMA doesn’t need a classroom budddy passing it the answers, its pretty capable of making the grade on its own with just a little bit more effort. 2018 will undoubtedly be the year BAMMA does better if it tries.