Over the past few months, the campaign team of former President Donald Trump has been engaging in discreet discussions for a potential sit-down interview with a significant media figure. Surprisingly, it’s not a well-known network personality or a mainstream news anchor. Instead, it’s none other than boxing legend Mike Tyson.
Tyson, who shares a longstanding friendship with Trump and recently dined with him at the Mar-a-Lago estate, is now the host of the popular podcast “Hotboxin’.” The show features a wide range of celebrity guests, including rapper Tyga, retired skateboarder Tony Hawk, and comedian Cedric the Entertainer. And now, it seems that a former president, who is also the frontrunner for his party’s White House nomination, might soon make an appearance on the show.
The Trump campaign’s interest in Tyson’s podcast is part of a larger strategic outreach to non-traditional media outlets, specifically targeting male audiences with a keen interest in contact and combat sports. Just recently, Trump attended an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fight in Las Vegas and is expected to be featured on the popular podcast “UFC Unfiltered.”
This approach highlights Trump’s recognition of the significance of appealing to less politically active voters, a key aspect of his election strategy. By venturing into non-traditional media platforms and attending major cultural events like UFC fights, Trump aims to connect with audiences who may not typically engage in political discussions or hold preconceived notions about him.
Republican strategist Andy Surabian, an adviser to Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., explained the rationale behind this approach, stating, “Doing non-traditional media and showing up to major cultural events like UFC fights allows former President Trump to hit a completely different audience than doing an interview on Fox News or other political media. He’s putting himself in front of people who are far less politically engaged and don’t necessarily have a baked-in view of him.”
The upcoming interview on “UFC Unfiltered” exemplifies Trump’s focus on reaching out to voters who may be more interested in sports than in politics. In a preview clip released by the channel, the host mentions that Trump sat down with them to discuss fights, UFC, boxing, and his history with the sport. This demonstrates Trump’s comfort and knowledge within the realm of combat sports, given his friendship with UFC President Dana White and his previous involvement in hosting boxing events.
Furthermore, Trump’s foray into non-traditional media platforms has allowed him to connect with a younger, predominantly male segment of the electorate. This demographic relies on prominent personalities such as podcast host Joe Rogan, whom Trump was seen chatting with at a recent fight. The sport’s viewership demographics indicate that it is most popular among males aged 25 to 35, with 90% of its viewers being male.
This outreach strategy recognizes the importance of engaging with young, male voters who consume news and information from alternative media sources. It also acknowledges that this demographic played a significant role in tipping the scales in favor of President Joe Biden in the 2020 election. According to a Pew Research report, Biden and Trump were nearly tied in support among male voters, in contrast to the 2016 election, where Trump won a significantly higher percentage of the male vote than Hillary Clinton.