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Volume 24 No. 156
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Top Rank Signs Deal With Sony For PS4 To Sponsor Upcoming Marquee Fights

Fight promoter Top Rank has signed Sony PlayStation to a wide-ranging sponsorship that will give the PS4 brand prominent placement in the upcoming Timothy Bradley-Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto-Sergio Martinez PPVs, as well as an HBO card headlined by Juan Manuel Marquez-Mike Alvarado. There also will be a presence across Top Rank’s website and in fights airing on Spanish-language television. Though neither Top Rank nor Sony Computer Entertainment America would disclose financials, the breadth and volume of assets included in the deal for fights of that level typically would exceed $1M and could approach $2M. The sponsorship, which kicks off during the lead-up to Saturday’s Pacquiao-Bradley fight in Las Vegas and runs through Top Rank events in April, May and June, includes:

* The PS4 logo on the ring mat for all three major fights, either in all four corners or at center ring. PS4 also will be on the lighting trusses atop the ring and on video boards in the arenas, as well as on broadcast features such as "tale-of-the tape" on all but the HBO card.
* Sony PlayStation trailers to run during both PPV telecasts, expected to air in more than 130 countries.
* Three 60-second spots on all live cards aired during the weekly “Solo Boxeo” show on UniMas.
* Banners and pre-roll on the video player and a website takeover during the lead-up to each major fight, as well as social media integration at all three fights.
* VIP floor seating for all three major fights.

Marquez fights Alvarado at the recently-renovated Forum in Inglewood, Calif., on May 17. Cotto fights Martinez at MSG on June 7.

IMPORTANT TO ADD RECOGNIZABLE BRAND: Top Rank Exec VP Lucia McKelvey, pointing to the importance of adding a recognizable brand in a high-profile category, said, “We need and value strong tier-1 brand alignment.” McKelvey: “What started out as a cold call ended up an incredible win for the boxing industry.” The deal was born of a January call from McKelvey to PlayStation Senior VP/Brand Marketing Guy Longworth. McKelvey connected with Longworth through LinkedIn, then set up a call to pitch him on the merits of boxing as a means to target young Hispanic males both inside and outside of the U.S. McKelvey and Top Rank President Todd DuBoef met with PlayStation execs in S.F., then brought Longworth to L.A. for the press conference to kick off the Cotto-Martinez media tour in March. McKelvey presented a package that would give PS4 a large presence across Top Rank’s biggest events in a short span of time, allowing the brand to test the sport and measure results. "They love that we’re reaching the demos we reach and that it’s not saturated,” McKelvey said. “Along with the reach we offer here in the U.S., we get them into Mexico and Latin America. It’s a great brand play for them.”