SBD/September 11, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Showtime Tweaks Mayweather-Alvarez Marketing To Reach Urban, Female Fans

Both traditional and non-traditional sponsors are supporting the fight
Showtime Sports Exec VP & GM Stephen Espinoza said that the net this week leading up to the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Canelo Alvarez fight on Saturday night "will roll out the lion's share" of its nearly $80M marketing and promotion campaign for the event, according to R. Thomas Umstead of MULTICHANNEL NEWS. Mayweather's "enduring popularity with young, urban viewers 18-24," combined with Alvarez' "appeal to women, prompted the premium programmer to tweak its marketing approach." Showtime in addition to "attracting sponsors in traditional categories such as beer (Corona) and automotive (O'Reilly Auto Parts and Valvoline Motor Oil) ... has also tapped health and wellness company Nature Nutrition as a first-time sponsor to appeal to a broader audience." Other "non-traditional sponsors include the Mexican Tourism Boards and Fred Loya Insurance" (MULTICHANNEL NEWS, 9/9 issue).

MONEY TALKS: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Bill King reports Espinoza "has been struck by the clamor surrounding" the fight. Espinoza said, "If we could convert that enthusiasm into pay-per-view buys we’d be doing 12 million pay-per-view buys. It will be an interesting experiment to see how it converts." Though evolutions in technology and viewing habits "make it unlikely that any fight will break the pay-per-view record of 2.4 million" set by a Mayweather-Oscar De La Hoya fight in '07, Mayweather-Alvarez has "a chance to eclipse that bout as the most lucrative PPV ever ($132 million) and is on pace to make boxing history in most other categories." Corona distributor Crown Imports is "backing the fight with its largest retail activation in sports, with point-of-purchase displays in 15,000 retail outlets across 32 states." The brand "cut its own commercial spot promoting the fight, as did another sponsor, AT&T." Corona will "devote about $6 million worth of on-air media, airing spots during sports programming on NBC, ESPN, Fox and the NFL Network," while AT&T "will devote" $1.6M (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/9 issue).

PACKAGE DEAL: In Las Vegas, Steve Carp reported promoters of the fight "saw an opportunity to sell boxing beyond the hard-core fans" and "added two more world title fights to morph it into one of the best fight cards Las Vegas has seen in years." However, while the two undercard title fights "add depth to the event, it ultimately might not translate into additional pay-per-view buys." Espinoza "had said as much earlier this summer." He is "hoping that the casual boxing fans who buy the fight are entertained throughout the telecast" by the undercard fights "enough that they will be repeat customers" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 9/9).
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