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 Why are so many UFC fighters using Sqor?

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Chrom
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PostSubject: Why are so many UFC fighters using Sqor?   Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:20 pm

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If you follow a UFC fighter on some social media platform, chances are you’ve seen Sqor’s social media footprint by now.

It may have been in a tweet about a training session, or a Facebook post about an upcoming fight. But instead of ending the way such self-promotional posts usually do, with a link to the fighter’s own website or Instagram page, instead you see a link to their profile on Sqor, which suddenly seems to be a ubiquitous presence on the social media feeds of pro fighters everywhere.

It turns out there’s a very good reason why the UFC’s best are now so active on this relatively new social media platform: They’re being paid to do it.

What’s more, says Sqor Inc. founder and CEO Brian Wilhite, they probably should have been getting paid all along, especially by companies like Twitter, which get a tremendous boost from posts by famous pro athletes and other celebrities.

“I never understood why someone who was famous or had a big following…would go and build a massive audience for companies and get no financial benefit out of it,” Wilhite tells USA TODAY Sports and MMAjunkie. “This idea of building this massive following for these other platforms so that they can monetize it, it made no sense to me.”

That’s why Wilhite started the company (sqor.com) in 2011, after working for years on the social media side for other technology firms. The value that pro athletes brought to social media was greater than the value they were getting out of it, Wilhite suspected, and he set out to create a social media platform geared specifically toward sports fans, as well as one that rewarded athletes for participating.

What Wilhite might not have realized at first is that it wouldn’t be the athletes from the traditional stick-and-ball sports who would be the most eager early adopters, even if that might have been his hope when he put NFL great Brett Favre on the board of directors. Instead, it’s been MMA fighters who have been one of the surprise hits for Sqor. There are some very good reasons for that, according to sports agent Audie Attar, who represents both UFC fighters and NFL players at Paradigm Sports Management.

“I think a lot of it is the culture of the sport,” Attar says. “In football, you get drafted, you’re on a team, you get your salary, and whether you tweet a lot or not, it’s not going to have much of an impact on who tunes in for ‘Sunday Night Football.’ In football, social media is seen as a distraction by the coaches. But in fighting, you are selling yourself. How much you can move the needle definitely helps you advance, from a career standpoint.”

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Just look at UFC featherweight Conor McGregor. The Irish fighter is only four fights into his tenure with the UFC, but his disclosed payout figures have increased dramatically in a year’s time, and he’s already being discussed for the next UFC featherweight title shot, in large part because of his popularity with fans.

That popularity naturally carries over into the social media realm, says Sqor Vice President of Athlete and Business Development Chris Little, who insists that McGregor is one fighter who “crushes it on Sqor,” netting him thousands of extra dollars per month. That might not mean so much to a millionaire baseball player, but to most MMA fighters, it could be the difference between living large and just living.
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