The boxing world is changing, whether people like it or not. It’s claimed that UFC and other fighting sports are taking control of the market. That being said, promoters of boxing are having to change their overall marketing strategy for the sport. The evidence is in the upcoming Mayweather vs Alvarez fight, set to take place on September 14.
Mayweather vs Alvarez strategies
In 2007, the Mayweather vs De La Hoya fight set the record for the biggest Pay Per View fight in terms of audience. If, in fact, gate sales indicate Pay Per View sales, this fight will be huge. The fight has already set the record for biggest gate $19.9 million. Not only that, but Floyd Mayweather is set to receive a record $41.5 million for the fight.
While boxing may be sliding off into the deep end, promoters may be learning to swim. Promotions for the fight are vast and varied. As the fight is set to take place on Showtime PPV, commercial time will be plentiful. CBS is the owner of Showtime. With football starting on Sunday, promoters are finding a target market in the sports audience. Not only will the fight be promoted during NFL games, but it will see light during college football games as well, most notably during the Alabama vs Texas A&M game.
Because of Canelo Alvarez’s youth and good looks, promoters are not only going after college football fans, but female fans as well. The Hispanic market will also be a huge factor in any sort of promotion as well. In fact Richard Schaefer, the CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, says Canelo’s audience draw is impressive:
“Canelo has outdrawn the Mexican national soccer team on Televisa (a Mexican television and mass media company),”
CBS will also offer the live weigh-in and press conference. Showtime will then attract more attention to the fight through it exclusive behind-the-scenes access of each fighter preparing. Stephen Espinosa, Executive Vice President of Showtime Sports, weighs in on the idea:
“All Access is the single most effective toll we have to promote the fight. It gets the casual fans and hardcore fans involved on an emotional level.”
Showtime PPV is going to charge $74.95 for the HD version of the fight. HD reigns supreme in today’s world, as evidenced by the numbers: 60-65% of fans buy HD over standard definition.
Promotion goes old school
Whether it’s considered “old school” or not, the fight will be aired in nearly 500 theaters across the US, as well as six MGMs. In case you were wondering, the MGM viewing experiences are already sold out. These experiences are said to closely mimic the experience of watching the fight in person.
A true old school method would be the newspaper. Print promos are set to run in daily newspapers in hopes to grab that “last minute” buyer. Each boxer is also set to grace the cover of ESPN the magazine.
As far as radio is concerned, the fight will be promoted by the likes of The Jim Rome Show, Howard Stern and CBS Radio. Perhaps more importantly, the promoters spent $2 million dollars on promoting Mayweather vs Alvarez with an 11 city tour.
Yes, Mayweather vs Alvarez is looking to break records. Of course Floyd “Money” Mayweather has something to do with this. But there is no doubt that the wide range of promotional marketing strategies has something to do with it as well.
You can check out the promotional video for the fight below:
Which, if any, of these promotional techniques entices you to pay for a boxing match as big as this?
Photo credit – realcombatmedia.com
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