For fighting its way into the mainstream. Although MMA (mixed martial arts) is still banned in a handful of states and dismissed by critics as too violent (John McCain famously called it “human cockfighting”), Ultimate Fighting Championship signed a 7-year, $100 million deal with Fox last fall, the promoter’s first long-term arrangement with a major network. It’s won over major sponsors Microsoft, Dodge, and Bud Light. And UFC is as social-media savvy as any organization in sports. It trained 300 of its fighters on Twitter and started a $240,000 incentive program to reward those who generate the biggest impact.FCS
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