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Volume 24 No. 218
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Sponsors Align With McGregor-Mayweather Fight Hoping To Land Branding Knockout

Saturday's Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor fight is on pace to become an "unprecedented success in revenue and viewership," and brands are "quickly aligning their marketing motives for a potential knockout with their messaging," according to Manouk Akopyan of ALISTDAILY.com. Monster Energy "leveraged its two-year relationship with McGregor by renewing its sponsorship with the star and filmed its biggest commercial to date." Also, a five-by-five-inch Monster Energy logo will be "adorned on the front of McGregor’s trunks come fight night," and the energy drink company will be "joining BetSafe with such branding." Monster Energy Senior VP/Marketing Marianne Radley said that the brand does not "normally do media buys, but saw this once-in-a-lifetime fight as an opportunity to harness its heritage and maximize its association in MMA to increase brand awareness with a 360-degree digital plan pushing content across various social channels, fight-viewing parties, retail tie-ins, point-of-sales and sticker-and-jersey giveaways." This week, Mayweather is working with tequila maker Avion by "donning the brand’s hat during the weigh-in," and Swiss watchmaker Hublot's branding will be "adorned on the waistline of his trunks." Corona marks will be in the "center of the mat" for the fight, as Corona is "billed as the official beer sponsor." Corona VP/Brand Marketing John Alvarado said, "The hype and anticipation this match is getting from avid and casual boxing fans -- as well as non-boxing fans intrigued by the unique matchup -- was the real attraction for us. This is an opportunity to have the Corona brand in front of over 50 million-plus US viewers" (ALISTDAILY.com, 8/22).

DRESS FOR SUCCESS: The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Sam Reed reported Mayweather and German fashion designer Philipp Plein came together to create Mayweather's "trunks and robe for the ring, which will give fans a taste of their just-announced ongoing, multiyear collaboration." McGregor meanwhile has a "more familiar high-fashion label in his back pocket: Versace." The Irishman "received a custom robe from Donatella Versace herself," which he later "showed off on Instagram" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 8/23). As for the boxing robe McGregor will adorn Saturday night, tailor David August Heil said that the fighter will not see it "until he’s in his dressing room at T-Mobile Arena." USA TODAY's Josh Peter notes Heil "provides tailor-made suits and casual wear to the rich and famous." McGregor wore one of his creations to a press stop in L.A. last month and "proudly showed off " its pinstripes, which read "f--- you." Heil "estimated the fighter each year spends more than" $1M on clothes (USA TODAY, 8/24).

BREAK AWAY: In DC, Rick Maese writes McGregor is "suddenly subscribing to a key part of the Mayweather plan." He has "formed his own promotional company and agreed to a contract substantially different from the UFC economic formula into which mixed martial arts fighters are locked." The result is a "payday unlike anything an MMA fighter has seen that carries with it potential pratfalls for UFC." Other MMA fighters now might "feel there’s more outside opportunities and money available than the UFC." Former Bellator Chair & CEO Bjorn Rebney said, "It’ll be a huge eye-opener to MMA stars on the real money that’s out there and available to them. It really sheds light on the fact that even the best MMA fighters in the world are getting a fraction of what they deserve." UFC President Dana White said, "Believe me, it’s something I’m going to be dealing with for the next three years. There’s no doubt about it." McGregor could "pull in a payday" in the range of $100M, which will "dwarf anything he has earned in a single night for UFC" (WASHINGTON POST, 8/24).