Case study:

Read how Ultimate Fighting 
Championship saves time 
and money with Go Direct

UFC background

Ultimate Fighting Championship is a global mixed martial arts organization based in Las Vegas, Nevada. The business unit that Go Direct interacts with is responsible for the development of UFC’s residential and commercial Pay-Per-View channels. Go Direct helps UFC support their commercial Pay-Per-View customers (restaurants, bars, gyms, etc.) by mass producing and distributing posters and other marketing materials to approximately 5,500 venues across Canada and USA.

Mixed martial arts has been one of the world’s fastest growing sports and since its inception in the early 1990s, UFC has grown exponentially. These popular events are held internationally in North America, South America, Australia, Asia, and Europe; and broadcasted to millions of viewers.

PRODUCT / SERVICES SUMMARY

Go Direct Supply Chain Solutions started its relationship with UFC in preparation for the UFC 200 event held on July 9, 2016. The service offering includes producing and shipping event posters across North America and maintaining the online ecommerce portal used by UFC’s commercial clients to place customized orders for various marketing and print materials. When the program first started, all orders were fulfilled by Go Direct and delivered to their destinations within 1-7 business days.

UFC KEY REQUIREMENTS

UFC’s main goal is to increase the viewership of their events at commercial partner establishments while encouraging participants to buy additional Pay-Per-View events. To assist in the marketing efforts of their partners, UFC provides posters for the events at no charge.

Go Direct is tasked with the challenge of having the event posters created and delivered to UFC partner locations as soon after a completed event as possible. This provides UFC partners the maximum amount of time for promoting the next event and drawing more patrons to their venues.

Due to the nature of the sport, headliners of UFC events are sometimes finalized very close to the event date and may change due to unforeseen incidents such as injuries. In such cases, Go Direct must react quickly to expedite its printing, distribution, and transportation processes.

In past situations when last-minute changes took place, promotional materials were successfully delivered to approximately 5,000 venues within 5-6 business days following receipt of the graphic design artwork. The ability to quickly turn around time-sensitive distributions takes:

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    Efficient project planning
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    Effective communication
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    Close partnerships with print vendors
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    Well-engineered operational processes
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    Robust warehouse management and transportation systems

The extreme level of flexibility Go Direct provides UFC requires all this, plus flawless execution in the most cost-effective ways possible.

THE RESULTS

The initial engagement began with the mass distribution of posters that included 8,616 orders and 122,121 printed pieces. Over the past 18 months, Go Direct has shipped over 100,000 orders consisting of 1,225,000 pieces.
All distribution cycles have been completed within 1-3 business days, and the materials arrived at their destinations on time.

Go Direct has delivered above-and-beyond the agreed upon service levels. The allotted 5 business days for order picking, packing, and shipping has been reduced to 2 business days. In most cases, the 5 business days needed for print production is reduced to 3 or 4 business days. With these major improvements and other streamlining, venues now receive their event posters 4 to 5 business days earlier. Meaning they can start advertising upcoming events sooner which helps increase revenues for both UFC and the venue owners.

In addition to the reduction in turnaround times, Go Direct has decreased UFC’s costs by approximately 9% for the US business unit and 28.5% for the Canadian business unit.

The key advantages that Go Direct offers UFC are:

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    End-to-end solutions including but not limited to print and packaging material procurement, receiving, warehousing, picking, packing, and shipping
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    Flexibility systems and workforce management based on timelines
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    Expertise in project management
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    Business reviews, reports and analytics
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    Strong relationships with reliable transportation partners
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    Exceptional transportation rates
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    Cost-saving opportunities

Quick Facts

Over 100,000 orders

Over 1.2 million posters

Less than 3-day turnaround

Direct impact on revenue

9% - 28.5% cost reduction

THE RELATIONSHIP

Go Direct enjoys a very close relationship with UFC. Our contacts appreciate our responsiveness to their business needs and the accountability we exhibit to ensure the best results with every distribution. The agility Go Direct has created, combined with our strong operational capabilities and the visibility we offer UFC, plays an important role in contributing to their ongoing success.