It's kind of fun to analyze the numbers when talking demographic and demography breakdown, trends and what not. As someone who has long struggled with mathematics I've enjoyed breaking down the numbers for companies and political campaigns looking to expand their horizons and take advantage of a rising or as we know it a "new majority" coming about in America.
According to statistics non-white Americans will become the majority by 2025, as the rise in the Hispanic population continues for various reasons. Now you're probably wondering what this has to do with boxing and mma. Well, I decided to break it down based on the present and future outlooks of what the country will look like according to census analysis.
Right now the majority target audience of the UFC accounts for young white males between the age of 18-35, and older adult males between 35-45. This demo coexists nicely with the NFL audience which accounts for an almost identical breakdown among age, race, and gender. You need not go very far however to be reminded of this, all you have to do is look at a guy like Clay Matthews or A.J. Hawk. Both resemble the archetype of what most people would assume a UFC fan would look like. I'm not throwing out stereotypes of any sort but I've long said the everyday mma fan is usually white, male (typically, although females enjoy the sport as well) between the ages of 18-35, beer drinkers, single, in college or about to graduate high school, and now this is serious, watches pornography and other highly stimulative programming or some type of programming that requires lack of concentration.
The UFC has been smart in their playing the age angle understanding how the country is getting younger and young people like all generations tend to shed the traditional norms of their parents in an effort to establish their own. In this aspect the UFC has clearly outpaced boxing. But boxing on the other hand has traditionally played the race card. Boxing relies almost exclusively on racial breakdown among its audience because boxing has deeper within the Latino and Black communities. I think that's the reason behind the UFC's less than stellar result in tapping the Latin market, and equally true in boxing's attempt to reach the younger generation of today.
So I was just responding to what Scott Christ wrote about with the whole crossover percentage among boxing and mma fans. I think in order for mma, the UFC in particular to expand beyond the American market which it no doubt dominates within the combat sports world it has to go racial, to put it bluntly. For boxing they must target a younger audience in order for the sport to bring back its golden era in the United States.
Not surprisingly given the demographic shifts toward a more non-white America, and with white Americans now slated to become the minority, boxing has somewhat of a head start in trying to target the new population. Young Hispanic men in America are more likely to identify with Hispanic boxers than Hispanic mixed martial artists. Young Arab and Muslim men, especially in Michigan can easily find a favorite in British superstar Amir Khan, who no doubt Golden Boy will try to market as the next great crossover Muslim star who they believe will shine brighter in the States than Prince Naseem Hamed who proceeded him.
And as for Mike Lee hat tip to Scott Christ for writing about him because after seeing the Subway commercial I had no idea who he was. I thought he was an mma fighter, then I saw the commercial again during the Chiefs/Bills game yesterday and I thought he was a kick boxer. It's funny because my sister asked me a few weeks ago if there were any good white American boxers out right now. I don't know anything about Mike Lee other than what Scott's article talked about. The Notre Dame ties (No matter how 30 years ago the Irish might seem right now) goes along way in this country if you're Catholic and a football fan. But its nice to see a white guy from the United States get some love. How long has it been?