Ive been tracking it for a long time now, the popularity of Judo compared with MMA and let me say this traditionally MMA has done far better in how it performed on the web popularity stage but not recently. In the last 90 days things have changed and Judo has once again shown that it can be the biggest sport in the world! I have used Google trends to get this data and for those that dont know it shows trends on the web and this data shown above is for the last 90 days.
Now many of you will pass this data off as nothing more than google speculation but let me explain how the IJF has done this and to be honest I doubt it was deliberate. But first lets just rejoice in the fact that the same data that shows that MMA was more popular on the web now shows in the last 90 days that Judo has overtaken it and in the process pretty much left BJJ for dust. The data isn't precise but its using google trends and thats all we really can use in these circumstances, however let me show you just how it was done and why I think Judo will explode across the globe very soon.
I have a smart TV, I love it but now with the new Chrome TV extension available for less than £40 everyone can have a smart TV. So what can I do with a smart Tv or also using Chromecast?? Watch Youtube on my TV and the IJF have done something very clever, they have been screening Judo live and for free over youtube at all their major events.
Now this type of thing takes time to gain traction, a few world championships, some other major events and we start top see a pattern. Social media helps to promote the events now and this simple free service has and still will make high quality Judo more available to view than any other sport. They started doing it a while ago and as TV prices come down and smart phones also become cheaper the web and YouTube is king for any business or sport.
This is free TV available across the Globe all you need is the internet connection. Now as more and more of us start to use tablets and smart TV's and mobile devices the more people will use you tube to watch events and as the IJF dont need to make any money from their TV deals they can give Judo to the masses for free!
The little boy dreaming of an Olympic Gold can check out Teddy Riner win his events, they can gasp at Iliadis with his huge throws and a major by product of this is that the BJJ players out there can see the real power of Judo and will want to take classes.
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Yes the data is flimsy and not really hard data but Google trends does just that, looks at trends across the web.
Now this is still early days but the use of technology by the IJF and their really impressive coverage is amazing and it is now up to the national governing bodies to employ real social media and internet experts to grow their own YouTube channels (ive stated this before havent I!!).
This is some really good news for the IJF and Judo and I think the data is a good snap shot of things to come! They are still well behind the popularity of the UFC but Rome wasn't built in a day. The thing is that Judo/ IJF/BJA can do so much more just on the web (which is free by the way) to attract people into clubs and into the sport I just wished they would be brave enough to ask the right people.
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