Thursday, March 4, 2010

UFC helping state with census count

By Anthony Fenech

Thursday, March 4, 2010 | 2:05 a.m.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship and Nevada's secretary of state are teaming for a different kind of fight: The 2010 census.

Wednesday afternoon at the Grant Sawyer State Office Building in downtown Las Vegas, Secretary of State Ross Miller announced a partnership between Nevada and the UFC to promote awareness for the upcoming census.

"UFC is Nevada's sports franchise," Miller said. "And they are the best partner you could have when trying to accomplish something as significant as this."

During the press conference, Miller unveiled the state's advertising campaign, which heavily targets the 18- to 30-year-old demographic, one that has shown to be less likely to fill out the forms.

"It's hard to overstate the important of the census to Nevada," Miller said.

According to Miller, completing the 2010 census means about $917 of federal funding per person each year, which translates to almost $10,000 a person over the 10-year time period.

"This isn't something people should ignore," he continued. "Nor is it about the federal government trying to see where people live. This is about Nevada getting their share of the pie."

Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin was in attendance and is featured in one of the state's television spots promoting the campaign.

"Obviously anything in Nevada is UFC territory," Griffin said. "We take it that way and the more funding for Nevada, the more for the UFC."

The campaign will utilize three different television commercials — one including Griffin and UFC President Dana White — as well as advertising outdoors.

The 2010 census forms will be mailed out around March 17.

This marks the second time UFC has collaborated with the state to promote a political cause, dating back to the 2008 presidential election, when both parties urged citizens to vote.

"Anytime we've needed them, they have come through for us," Miller said. "They are such a persuasive brand for our demographic."

He said Nevada is the only western state to allocate a portion of its state budget for a campaign like this.

"It's a competition amongst states," Miller said. "If Nevadans don't fill out the forms, other states will."

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