SLIK gives global fans the 'UFC Ultimate Staredown’

27 May 2020

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The Sydney digital creative agency developed a global fan engagement platform for the international sports brand, media content company.

In UFC, the pre-fight staredown between opponents has become a must see event in its own right. Now, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organisation is letting fans virtually staredown some of its biggest names, with a global fan engagement platform developed by Sydney digital creative agency SLIK.

UFC Ultimate Staredown gives fans the opportunity to go face to face with UFC fighters including Nate Diaz, Jorge Masvidal, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier.

The UFC pre-fight staredown is the first time the fighters see each other face to face before the fight and the room is filled with tension.

SLIK has taken that tension and used AI and emotion-tracking technology to create a game where fans can put their game face to the test in a virtual staredown against their favourite fighters in the UFC.

SLIK used cutting-edge facial recognition and custom built AI technology to create a unique, personalised experience where the fan matches the emotions and expressions of their opponents.

Those who match or exceed the expressions are victorious and move on to the next tier fighter.

During every game the reactions of fans are captured and transformed into a timelapse GIF that can be shared across social channels.

In addition, results which measure the fan’s emotions including anger, confidence and shock are also displayed.

The platform has been named a FWA (Favourite Website Awards) Site of the Day after being judged by a team of international experts.

“We are delighted to see the work and collaboration with our client already gain recognition by FWA," SLIK co-founder Kyle Bennett says.

"This is testament to the team here at SLIK and the relationship with the UFC client. Logistically, none of this would have been possible without a huge amount of effort on both sides.

“Our idea and game is built around before fighters step into the Octagon, the pre-fight ritual of the ‘staredown’, which has become an integral part of the build up to any UFC fight. Using that insight, we developed a truly interactive digital engagement platform to allow fans to experience what it’s like to go face to face with these awesome fighters.

"It’s not every day an agency gets the opportunity to develop something on this scale with this global reach, so we’re delighted to have been selected by UFC against some strong competition and win this industry accolade.”

UFC is a premium global sports brand, media content company and the largest pay-per-view event provider in the world.

SLIK was appointed by Las Vegas-based organisation following a competitive four-way pitch against US digital agencies earlier this year.

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