SBJ/20090907/This Week's News

Mayweather-Marquez bout, PPV attract lineup of top brands

Those in the boxing business spend considerable time debating the state of the sport, and a chief complaint is the lack of corporate support, especially since sponsorship has become an essential revenue source for most properties. So for the Sept. 19 match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Juan Manuel Marquez, marketers at Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions are justifiably beating their collective chest about a sponsor roster that includes top brands, and some impressive retail activation.

“Particularly in Hispanic households, boxing remains a core sport, so we hope we’ve shown marketers that there’s still a lot of value in boxing,” said Bruce Binkow, CMO at Golden Boy, which is co-promoting the fight with Mayweather Promotions. AT&T, Tecate beer, Shell’s Quaker State oil brand and DeWalt tools are major sponsors, along with Southwest Airlines.

The Floyd Mayweather Jr. (left)-Juan Manuel
Marquez fight will be shown as an
HBO PPV and in theaters.

Much of the marketing is in support of the $59.95 pay-per-view offering of the fight from HBO. For example, Heineken USA’s Tecate brand offered a rebate at 12,000 grocery and convenience stores for $20 for PPV subscribers. Another promo offers a $55 rebate on the PPV with the purchase of $100 of groceries. Tecate is also activating with commemorative cans in Western markets.

AT&T, which has been using Mayweather in a spot for its LaptopConnect product for most of the year, is using its fight rights to market the Viva Mexico calling plan and has run Spanish-language promos in markets including Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas, where the fight will be staged. It also got some video content for AT&T subscribers.

Black & Decker’s DeWalt tool brand passed through its sponsorship rights to Home Depot, garnering valuable end-aisle displays at 1,500 stores with a sweepstakes offering trips to the fight. Mobile marketing vehicles have toured about 500 Home Depots. Other portions included Southwest Airlines online offerings, and Affliction Clothing, which marketed through hang tags on its wares. All sponsors get open and closing billboards on the PPV and signs at the bout.

The fight marks the return of boxing PPV to theaters for the first time in almost 30 years. High-definition broadcasts will be held in more than 170 theaters, and 30-second trailers supporting those are being shown in about 1,500 theaters.

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