Parimatch kicks on through international UFC deal

12 July 2018

Parimatch has targeted a huge rise in its takings from UFC after announcing an international partnership with the mixed martial arts organisation.

Parimatch, a leading operator in Russia and the CIS region with around 1.7 million users, has become the official UFC Betting Partner for the entire EMEA region, except for the UK and Ireland.

The deal comes just ahead of the first ever UFC event in Russia, which will take place at Moscow’s Olympic Stadium in September, with Parimatch as an 'introducing partner'.

The company told iGamingBusiness.com that around 5% of its customers currently bet on UFC, but it wants to increase that to 10% within the year thanks to the activation of the partnership and related promotional activities.

CEO Sergey Portnov (pictured with UFC president Dana White) identified growth in mixed martial arts as the “No.1 priority for the company”.

He told iGamingBusiness.com: “UFC is the fastest growing kind of sports in the world after, I guess, cyber-sports. Everybody understands it’s a trend. 

“Parimatch is a trend company, and is aiming to become a leading company. When such an organisation like UFC enters the CIS market, we would like to be associated with the brand. We were the first to understand that UFC will need a partner and have built our partnership relations.”

Cyprus-headquartered Parimatch is already a sponsor of Ukraine’s national football team and partner of Ukrainian Premier League champion Shakhtar Donetsk, Russian Premier League side FC Rostov and Cypriot title-holder APOEL. It also holds partnerships with major hockey and basketball leagues in Ukraine. iGamingBusiness.com understands that esports team Virtus.pro will also soon be added to its portfolio.

As part of its partnership with UFC, Parimatch explained that its logo will be incorporated into athletes’ apparel and be displayed in the octagon and on the UFC.com website. Parimatch believes it can play a major role in building UFC’s presence in its own home region.

“This partnership is strategic and long-term. We aim to fix the MMA category for ourselves," Portnov added.

“Passion drives our company, and we are ready to build a close and robust relationship with UFC and help them to develop this market. We are prepared to accustom the audience to such a great sport as MMA.”