SBD/September 13, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Alvarez Could Become American Star After Saturday's Mega Fight Versus Mayweather

Alvarez is attracting more of a female audience than most fighters
Mexican boxer Canelo Alvarez is "already an idol in his native land and can become something much more Saturday night when he faces Floyd Mayweather" at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, according to George Willis of the N.Y. POST. Alvarez' "pale skin, ginger locks and aggressive ring style made him an instant media darling in Mexico," and his "good looks attract a female audience" the way Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya once did. There is a "regal appearance to Alvarez, perpetually poised and in charge." Part of the reason Saturday's fight is "so anticipated is the presence of Mayweather, boxing’s brash anti-hero." However, it also is a "credit to the rising star of Alvarez." Showtime Sports Exec VP & GM Stephen Espinoza said of Alvarez, "He’s got the ‘It’ factor." Willis notes for a pro athlete to become "fully marketable in the U.S., it’s said he or she needs to speak English." Alvarez has "been working diligently to learn English." Espinoza said that it "shouldn’t be long before Alvarez is comfortable speaking English and comes close to being as big a star stateside as he already is in Mexico" (N.Y. POST, 9/13). Mexico-based TV station Televisa Dir of Operations Alberto Sosa said that he expects the fight to be "one of the most widely viewed events in the country's television history." Espinoza said, "The last time you saw this in this country with a Mexican-born athlete was probably Fernando Valenzuela. It's a similar-type hysteria in the Mexican audience" (L.A. TIMES, 9/13). Meanwhile, Under Armour has seen Alvarez merchandise rise to the top of its online sales chart, moving more than 15,000 graphic tees that showcase the boxer. Alvarez, who signed with the company early in '12, will unveil a new Under Armour boxing boot during Saturday's fight (Bill King, Senior Staff Writer).

MORE MONEY FOR MONEY MAY
: In California, Robert Morales writes Mayweather has "big-mouthed his way into becoming the highest-paid athlete in the world ... with his ultra-cocky persona and major-league bling." He has "started his own promotional company -- Mayweather Promotions -- and his own line of TMT (The Money Team) clothing apparel." Mayweather said of his persona, "The thing is this: Everything was a business plan. My business plan was to be very, very entertaining, be very wild, turn it on when it’s time to turn it on, turn it off when it’s time to turn it off, and that’s what I did. I built my fan base. I became a mega-star. I became a household name. That was the ultimate goal. It was just a business plan that I had, you know what I’m saying? There’s nothing fake, but you got to know when to turn it on and when to turn it off." Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer said of Mayweather, "He has become the best and most clever self-marketer in the sport of boxing and, for that matter, probably any sport. No other names come to mind who markets himself the way Floyd does" (Long Beach PRESS-TELEGRAM, 9/13).

PPV RECORD COULD BE SMASHED: YAHOO SPORTS' Kevin Iole wrote Schaefer "will likely earn windfall profits for his company" because Saturday's fight is a "potentially record-setting pay-per-view bout." There has been "exactly one fight in boxing history that has exceeded 2 million pay-per-view sales" -- the '07 Mayweather-De La Hoya bout -- and that number is "being talked about as a low-end for the final sales figure for this fight" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 9/12). Schaefer said of the fight's PPV buys, "My goal is to break the record. I think we will do 2 million homes which will make it the single biggest pay-per-view in boxing." The AP's Tim Dahlberg writes that is due largely to Golden Boy "charging the single biggest price ever for a boxing match, a whopping $74.95 if you want to watch in HD." Schaefer: "Saturday could be a $200 million night. Boxing is hardly a dying sport." The fight "could be a nice payday indeed" for Golden Boy. Schaefer added, "I'm going to obviously get some money Monday morning." Many in boxing "don't think Schaefer will have to worry about closing his company's doors," as he "begins to make money at about 1.5 million pay-per-view buys" (AP, 9/13).
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