ONE Championship (ONE) – is the world's largest martial arts organization. Having driven massive global appeal in just under 12 years while primarily focusing on Asia, ONE saw a clear opportunity to break into the American market. To make this a success, they teamed up with GWI for insights that would help them truly resonate with American fight fans – a move that would lead to 46% audience growth over a six-month period.
social media followers
organic video views in 2022
live martial arts events in 2023
Vice President, Head of Analytics & Insights at ONE Championship
Having already established a leading brand across the globe with over 84 billion video views globally since 2016, ONE knew there was more they could do, and they knew the opportunity and the audience existed in the US market.
But they also knew it was the world’s largest and most sophisticated sports market. In order to not only drive substantial growth in the US market, but really resonate with fans there, they needed to do two things:
ONE knew if they could really nail that first step, the second would be far more achievable. So the challenge was simple: uncover everything they needed to know about these fans and perceptions about their brand – which is where GWI came in.
“We needed to really understand our viewers and potential viewers in the US so we could tailor our product, and the product experience, to satisfy them.”
To tackle the challenge, ONE decided to run a bi-annual brand health tracker to find out what parts of the brand these fans liked, what parts they disliked, and how these sentiments were moving over time.
As a truly data-led organization, ONE leverages a whole suite of data day in and day out (both in-house and third party) and synthesizes data from these sources to get a clear view of their audiences from every perspective.
ONE’s brand tracker study with GWI helped them both validate their hunches and uncover some surprising truths. These insights proved they were perfectly placed to work with brand partners looking to connect with a unique and passionate audience in a compelling way.
Here’s what the data showed:
“Our content naturally resonates super well with millennials and Gen Zs – the data showed our brand affinity was actually the highest compared to our peers, which was very reassuring to see.”
With ONE’s very human mission squarely focused on inspiring people and championing martial arts values – a key differentiator versus other combat sports organizations – the study also validated their assumptions that fans truly saw them as such, and understood what they were all about.
“This study proves our fans really understand what our brand represents: it's about respect, sportsmanship, diversity... people get it. These insights help our teams continuously think about ways to hone ONE’s brand proposition in our content production.”
Here’s what ONE did with these insights:
Equipped with this knowledge, along with the ability to dive deeper into the GWI platform for a more detailed look, the ONE team could make a clear and compelling case for partnering with them – and they knew exactly who that ideal partner was: Amazon.
Visionaries who were passionate about taking the sports viewing experience to new heights, Prime Video perfectly aligned with ONE’s ambition.
Approaching Prime Video with intel that proved ONE fans were far more engaged than most, they successfully won the partnership. The two have now set out to optimize the live event viewing experience on Prime Video together.
“Amazon is probably one of the most data-driven companies in the world. So this data, and our insights team, have played a crucial role in this partnership from the very beginning.”
“The US is definitely going to be one of our key markets in the next few years. We’re going to continue tracking, measuring, and listening to our fans – to the combat sports community on the ground – really shaping our product around their needs and giving them a very differentiated, refreshing viewing experience.”
Continuing their efforts, with a real sense of pride around how they’ve grown to harness the power of data, Jane and the ONE team have no intention of slowing down.