Tecate To Join Oscar De La Hoya In Boxing Ring

Whenever Oscar De La Hoya laces up the gloves, the live and viewing audience is huge. The largest gate in boxing history was, in fact, his fight last year versus the wily Floyd Mayweather, Jr., who was considered the best fighter in the world until--at least for now--he retired.

But that gate record may well be broken internationally on Dec. 6 when De La Hoya gets into the ring with Manny Pacquiao, generally regarded as the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world these days. Mexican brewery Cerveza Tecate, imported by Heineken USA, will get into the ring as well with a multi-platform campaign to market Tecate and the fight to Hispanics in key markets.

Tecate signed a deal two years ago with De La Hoya's company, Golden Boy Promotions, and sponsored both the Mayweather fight and this spring's bout in which De La Hoya's fought Steve Forbes. Boxing may have a small general-market audience, but 62% of viewers of pro bouts are Hispanic, per Tecate.

The company will roll out commemorative packaging of 18-packs and 12-packs, and of individual cans, plus a $20 mail-in-rebate discount for the HBO Pay-Per-View event with the purchase of a 12-pack or larger of Tecate or Tecate Light.

"We are changing everything to fight-specific advertising," says Carlos Boughton, brand director for Tecate.

Elements include POP displays and posters with fight details, to be distributed nationally at grocery, convenience and liquor stores. Furthermore, Tecate will alter its national TV and radio spots to promote the fight. These will air two to three weeks prior to the event in key markets such as Los Angeles; Fresno, Calif.; Monterey, Calif.; Sacramento; San Diego; San Francisco; Albuquerque; Las Vegas; Phoenix; Austin; Dallas and Houston.

Tecate, leading up to the fight, will sponsor autograph and photo sessions with Golden Boy Promotions fighters in Los Angeles and Las Vegas and other markets.

"We are going all out on this," says Boughton. "It's as big or bigger in terms of how we supported the De La Hoya-Mayweather fight because we now have a much better sense of what's possible and how relevant boxing is to our consumer and as an expression of boldness and masculinity for our brand. So knowing that, we have a stronger plan and better plan," he says.

"Active participation as sponsor has been critical in making a name for ourselves. And boxing is a perfect expression of what we want to say for the brand."

Editor's note: Look for MediaPost's "Engage:Hispanics" every Thursday.

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