Brands Activate For Mega-Fight
Major brands don't come to boxing in droves, but there’s big -- for boxing -- brand activation for Floyd Mayweather, Jr.'s mega-fight with Saul "Canelo" Alvarez on Sept. 14. The fight, dubbed "The One," is shaping up to bring the largest pay-per-view (PPV) fight audience in history, beating even Mayweather's bout in 2007 with crossover star and president of Golden Boy Promotions Oscar de la Hoya. Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy, which is promoting the fight, said the growth of PPV helps build numbers. "Ninety-one million homes can now see PPV, versus 60 million when Oscar fought Mayweather in 2007.”
The promoters have taken the fighters to 11 cities, with the crowds heavily represented by Hispanics. There's an $80 million promotional and ad budget for the fight, the largest media commitment for the sport to date.
At a press briefing in New York, Schaefer said the red-headed Mexican -- who is one of Golden Boy’s fighters -- is more popular among Mexicans than the country's national soccer team and just as huge among Hispanics in the U.S. ESPN's magazine has two covers this month: one devoted to Mayweather, the other to Alvarez.
And the bout has more brand commitment than there has ever been for a fight, according Bruce Binkow, CMO, Golden Boy Promotions. Corona (which is the fight’s presenting sponsor), O’Reilly Auto Parts (4,000 stores in 42 states), AT&T, Valvoline, Bacardi and Mexico Tourism (Visit Mexico) are on board.
"Golden Boy has tried to boost brand activation," he says. "And big Mayweather fights have an allure for sponsors. They don't just pay money for signage, they convert media to activate the marketplace, including on site. It increases the visibility of the event for all of us."
Crown Imports, distributor of Corona in the U.S. and sponsor of Golden Boy Promotions since last year, has signed on for another three-year contract, per Binkow. Corona replaces Tecate, which moved over to archrival Top Rank. Corona, meanwhile, "has produced a TV spot [for the fight] for the first time," he says, adding that the company is also doing in-store displays via local wholesalers, and gets branding on outdoor signage promoting the fight.
AT&T has created a unique spot for GoPhone touting the fight in English and Spanish. O'Reilly Auto Parts is presenting sponsor of movie theater screening of the fight, which is at some 550 movie theaters nationwide via Fathom Events. They will have merchandise in some 4,100 stores, per Binkow. And they have bought radio time to promote the fight via ticket giveaways. "And we were able to bring in one of their vendors, Valvoline, which is also making a second appearance in a Mayweather fight." Valvoline is running rebates wherein consumers who purchase five quarts of Valvoline SynPower or MaxLife motor oil at O'Reilly or Parts City get a $35 rebate on the PPV, which costs about twice that.
Visit Mexico has broadcast an on-site activation at fight venue MGM Grand in Las Vegas. "And we think that's the beginning of a long-term relationship," says Binkow. Bacardi is back to support and sponsor on-site hospitality areas.
Schaefer said that in Vegas the fight will be carried at a record six MGM Resorts via live closed circuit, as well as ARIA, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, Monte Carlo and New York-New York.