The world’s leading MMA promotion has announced a partnership with the US based technology firm Heed to turn itself into a high-tech platform and enhance the way fights are watched.
Heed and UFC are evaluating how best to integrate IoTA technology into a range of UFC events. “Every action-packed second in the Octagon generates a ton of data about our fighters and the energy and emotion that surround a fight. With Heed, we’re looking at ways to measure this data and use it to give our fans the best seat in the house no matter where in the world they’re watching from,” UFC President Dana White said.
The joint venture between WME-IMG and AGT International will work on changing the way fans connect with sport at home or at a live event through sensor-measured data.
WME-IMG has bought the UFC last year for more than $4 billion.
“Our goal is to revolutionize our sport, our events and ultimately enhance the fan experience,” UFC CFO Andrew Schleimer said.
Heed sampled its technology on an old Chuck Liddell-Tito Ortiz UFC fight that kept a running tally of blocks, jabs, hooks, overhands and uppercuts on the side and bottom of the screen.
“Fight Pass could be a very unique place to have some of these specific content and stories that we’re creating with Heed,” Schleimer said.
Heed says its technology can track fan or fighter emotions ranging from sadness and surprise to disgust and fear. The UFC said those tools, along with the fight tracking, could help the company stay more informed on a fighter’s health.
“We believe there’s a tremendous opportunity for us as UFC and for the fighters to benefit from a health and safety perspective,” Schleimer said. “Just by virtue of the types of things that we’re capturing, we’re going to be very much focused on how we can leverage that to enhance our brand, our promotion and our athletes, which we’re always looking to do, anything related to health and safety.”
Heed also has struck deals with Professional Bull Riders and Euroleague basketball.
The sensor-measured data on everything from fan and competitor emotion to real-time event tracking could change how fights, bull rides or other events are scored.