The Show Must Go On: The Strategy and Spectacle of Dana White’s Efforts to Promote UFC 249 During the Coronavirus Pandemic

in International Journal of Sport Communication
View More View Less
  • 1 San José State University
  • 2 University of Manitoba
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year online subscription

USD  $64.00

1 year online subscription

USD  $86.00

Student 2 year online subscription

USD  $122.00

2 year online subscription

USD  $162.00

While most professional sports quickly postponed their seasons due to COVID-19, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) took a decidedly contrarian approach as president Dana White continued to promote UFC 249 until pressure forced its cancelation on April 9, 2020. Drawing from work on sport and spectacle and the media as well as sport management scholarship on crisis management, the authors provide a commentary on the mediated spectacle of White’s (eventually successful) efforts to promote UFC 249 during the pandemic. Drawing from numerous media sources, they discuss how White sought to control the public narrative in several key ways. The authors further explore how White decried the seriousness of the pandemic while centralizing the UFC’s place in the U.S. sporting landscape. Finally, the authors discuss how White’s efforts might both help and hinder the UFC as a mainstream sports promotion.

Butryn and Masucci are with San José State University, San Jose, CA, USA. Johnson is with the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.

Butryn (theodore.butryn@sjsu.edu) is corresponding author.
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 2 2 0
Full Text Views 330 330 109
PDF Downloads 92 92 21