Trump Expands Cultural Reach with Podcast Appearance on UFC-themed ‘Hotboxin’

Trump Seeks to Expand Reach with Nontraditional Media

Former President Donald Trump is taking a unique approach to engage with a broader audience as he strategically seeks to appeal to less politically active voters. Trump’s team is actively pursuing interviews and appearances on nontraditional media platforms, including podcasts and sports outlets, in an effort to connect with a subset of voters who are more interested in sports and entertainment than traditional political discussions.

One platform that Trump is targeting is the “Hotboxin'” podcast, hosted by boxing legend Mike Tyson. Tyson, who recently dined with Trump at Mar-a-Lago, attracts a range of celebrity guests on his show, including rapper Tyga, skateboarder Tony Hawk, and comedian Cedric the Entertainer. The Trump campaign sees Tyson’s podcast as a way to reach male audiences with a passion for contact and combat sports, aligning with their overall strategy of engaging with less politically active voters.

In addition to the “Hotboxin'” podcast, Trump is also making appearances on other nontraditional media outlets, such as the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast and the “Full Send” podcast hosted by the “Nelk Boys,” a prankster trio. The campaign has even discussed the possibility of Trump being interviewed on Barstool Sports, a popular sports and pop culture platform among young men. These efforts highlight Trump’s status as a cultural figure and his focus on appealing to a broader audience beyond traditional political media.

Republican strategist Andy Surabian, an adviser to Donald Trump Jr., emphasizes the value of Trump’s nontraditional media appearances, stating that they allow the former president to reach a completely different audience than he would through interviews on mainstream political news outlets. By engaging with nontraditional media and attending major cultural events like UFC fights, Trump can connect with individuals who may have less political engagement and potentially affect their perception of him.

During his interview on “UFC Unfiltered,” Trump discussed various topics related to boxing and UFC, highlighting his passion for combat sports. He praised UFC fighters Alexander Volkanovski and Yair Rodriguez and shared his experience hosting fighter Bo Nickal at the White House. Trump even discussed his hypothetical choice of a walk-out song for a fight, mentioning Kid Rock and the iconic Queen song “We Are the Champions.” These conversations on combat sports demonstrate Trump’s familiarity with the subject matter and his comfort in engaging with sports culture and celebrities.

Trump’s association with combat sports goes back many years. He has attended numerous mixed martial arts events, including the Ultimate Fighting Championship in Madison Square Garden in 2019. Trump is friends with UFC President Dana White and renowned boxing promoter Don King. He has also hosted boxing showdowns at his Atlantic City casino and served as a commentator for a recent fight between George Foreman and Vitor Belfort. Trump has even been involved in the wrestling world, hosting WWE events and participating in WrestleMania.

The appeal of nontraditional media platforms for Trump extends beyond sports outlets. Appearing on platforms like Barstool Sports and conducting interviews with influencers like the Nelk Boys aligns with his broader cultural strategy. In the past, Trump invited Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy to the White House for an interview, and he has conducted interviews with the Nelk Boys, who gained popularity on YouTube for their pranks. These efforts aim to reach segments of the electorate that may not engage with traditional news platforms.

Overall, Trump’s focus on nontraditional media platforms is driven by a desire to connect with voters who may not actively follow political news. The Trump campaign recognizes the challenge of reaching “no news” voters, but believes that alternative media sources can provide a pathway to winning their votes. By appearing on podcasts, sports outlets, and engaging with prominent personalities in these spaces, Trump can tap into a younger, predominantly male demographic that is influential in elections. These efforts reflect Trump’s star power and ability to resonate with diverse audiences, making him a force to be reckoned with in both political and cultural realms.