You’ve heard of some fans being “armchair judges”—taking issue with a judge’s decision on any particular fight night and claiming to know more than the trained professionals themselves. And then there are some fans who become “keyboard warriors,” spewing forth massive diatribes and gutless insults from behind the protective shield of the Internet. But putting fans in charge of the location of the next big WEC event? Sounds like a great idea.
AMP Energy Drinks gave fans an opportunity to bring a live WEC event to their city in the Hometown Takedown Contest. Fans from all over the nation were able to vote online at ampenergy.com over a two month period to select one of 30 cities to host WEC 53.
NO ONE WAS MORE STOKED ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN THAN URIJAH FABER.
“One of the most asked questions I get is, ‘When are you going to fight in my city?’” says Faber. “AMP stepped up to the plate and gave fans a chance to decide that.”
Faber, Joseph Benavidez, and Chad Mendes represent the face of AMP Energy Drinks—the official energy drink of the WEC—and embarked on a media campaign for the contest in clever and creative ways, including a television spot where Faber and his Team Alpha Male comrades show up at your door with an apple pie to welcome you to the neighborhood. Who could say no to that apple?
The contest was a collaborative effort between AMP Energy and the WEC. AMP consulted with the WEC and worked closely with them to define 30 markets in which an event could be held based on population, availability, and other key guidelines. The WEC was willing to work out the logistical details of holding the event no matter which city won the contest.
In the end, more than 270,000 online votes were cast, with Phoenix, Ariz., (which received more than 76,000 votes) being announced the winner, live at WEC 50. The Versus channel captured the winning moment via satellite, from Upper Deck Sports Bar and Grillin Scottsdale, Ariz., where lightweight standout Jamie Varner hosted the announcement party.
WEC 53 takes place Dec. 18, at the Jobing.com Arena in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale. The card is buzzing with two championships on the line—Benson Henderson and Anthony Pettis will vie for the lightweight title, and Dominick Cruz and Scott Jorgensen will bang it out for the bantamweight strap. As other matches come together, fight fans are hoping that a rubber match between Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Jamie Varner comes to fruition so to sweeten the Hometown Takedown contest even more.
Fans will see AMP Energy reps at WEC 52 (Nov. 11, in Las Vegas) and in Phoenix and the surrounding areas leading up to the event, blanketing the market with retail and radio presence of the AMP brand and its new products, which include AMP Energy Juice (with 100% juice) and AMP Energy Sugar Free Lightning.
“The WEC and AMP Energy are a naturally perfect fit,” says AMP Energy brand manager Justin Toman. “MMA is growing by leaps and bounds and it’s the fastest growing sport in the world, so we want to make sure we’re a big part of that. The WEC made a lot of sense for us because we knew we were going to be able to do a lot more innovative and creative things, like the Hometown Takedown Contest with the WEC, than we might necessarily be able to do with a property like the UFC.”
So what’s next for AMP Energy?
Toman says the response from fans surrounding the Hometown Takedown Contest has been tremendously positive. “Our goal is to enhance the fan experience and, in 2011, see what bigger and better things we can do.”
You can count on Faber to be present at WEC 53. “I think it’s great that AMP is getting behind something the fans are so passionate about,” he says. “I can’t wait to see the AMPed up Arizona crowd.”
Arizona Gold:WEC 53
December 16, 2010
Ben Henderson vs. Anthony Pettis
Pettis (11-1) faces a tall order in Henderson (11-1), who hasn’t lost since 2006. Bendo will try to use his long-range pugilistic skills and wrestling to keep Pettis from winning the scrambles and utilizing his grappling. Both Henderson and Pettis love to end fights in fast-paced scrambles—Bendo with guillotines and Pettis with triangles. Someone’s gonna go to sleep in this fight.
Dominick Cruz vs. Scott Jorgensen
Cruz (16-1) defends his bantamweight belt for the second time against Jorgensen (11-3). After hard-earned victories over Joseph Benavidez (twice) and Brian Bowles, Cruz gets another stern test from Jorgensen, who is on a five-fight winning streak, including victories over Antonio Banuelos and Takeya Mizugaki. Cruz will need every bit of his punching speed and fleet foot work to keep the wrestling-savvy Jorgensen from taking the fight to the ground.