With two titles on the line this past weekend for UFC 189, MMA fans tuned into Pay Per View (PPV) and Fightpass.com to witness an epic fight card, including matchups between featherweights McGregor and Mendez for an interim belt, and welterweights Lawler and MacDonald. Battling it out in the league’s largest live event to date, the fighters drew a sold-out crowd of more than 16,000 to the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, NV, with a gate of $7.2 million and PPV buys reportedly surpassing 1 million. Attendees and PPV viewers not only received an intimate view of the action, but were also treated to an exclusive reveal of UFC’s new broadcast image, courtesy of Troika Design Group and the team here at Reality Check Systems (RCS).
Marking UFC’s first visual redesign in 14 years, the new look, envisioned by Troika, debuted in an overhauled graphics package for the fight that featured everything from judge and referee IDs to full screen fighter bios. Leveraging Troika’s stunning designs, RCS built the graphics templates in-house with the intention of giving UFC a well-rounded toolset for crafting compelling narratives that resonate with fans on a deeper level.
Prior to the event, we collaborated closely with Troika, FightMetric and UFC’s production and creative teams to devise a list of graphics templates that could be tapped at any given time during a match in-arena, on-air and online. After receiving design assets from Troika’s team, we built each template here in our Burbank office and implemented a custom workflow, including eight Bullet mobile graphics workstations, to help UFC bring them to life on air. Taking fighter, coach, referee and match data from spreadsheets provided by UFC, our team then wrote custom scripts for all eight Bullets to interface the data with the graphics templates. Our crew was on site at the MGM Grand throughout the week of the fight to guide the production along.
When it comes to a sport like MMA, there’s a lot of creative potential to build some really cool graphics, and we were so thrilled that UFC was on board to run with the amazing designs Troika brought to the table and give us the creative freedom to try something new and different. Working together with Troika and UFC was a truly collaborative experience; together we were able to come up with a graphics package not only matches UFC’s new identity, but one that fans can really enjoy – while also making operations a little easier for UFC’s graphics operators.
If you didn’t get a chance to check it out this weekend, don’t worry, as the new package will continue making appearances in UFC programming throughout the remainder of the season, including UFC 190 with Rousey Vs. Correia on August 1.