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Volume 21 No. 2
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Tecate pours it on for Pacquiao-Mosley bout

The Mexican brewery that has become boxing’s most active and visible U.S. sponsor is building what it expects to be its largest retail promotion ever around Manny Pacquiao’s upcoming bout against Shane Mosley, backing its usual pay-per-view rebate with commemorative cans featuring the fighters and creating bilingual promotional materials for the first time.

Tecate will produce about 100,000 cases — or more than 1 million of the 24-ounce cans — for distribution in participating stores in the Western U.S., Texas and Illinois beginning the first week in April. It also will run a national program offering a $25 rebate on purchases of the pay-per-view in all states that allow it.

The brewery anticipates reaching about 20,000 stores with the commemorative cans and eclipsing 50,000 stores with the overall promotion built around the May 7 fight, which coincides with the Cinco de Mayo holiday that annually provides one of Tecate’s three best sales periods.

It typically produces about 80,000 cases of commemorative cans and reaches about 10,000 stores with its pay-per-view promotion.

Along with the mainstream attraction of Pacquiao, Tecate expects a boost from a longer lead time than it has gotten for most big fights, which as of late have come together on the fly after protracted negotiations. Last year’s Mayweather-Mosley card wasn’t locked down until the first week of February. The details for Pacquiao’s fight against Antonio Margarito last November in Dallas weren’t finalized until the last week of August. Pacquiao-Mosely was set late in December.

“Things are so different when you have time to plan these things,” said Carlos Boughton, brand director for Tecate. “We’ve become very efficient in turning these promotions around with very little lead time. But if you have more time, it’s wonderful.”

Tecate has developed a nimble, plug-and-play promotional strategy as it has emerged as boxing’s signature sponsor. It says it can get a robust promotional program to retail nationally on two months notice and can cover all of its key markets in as little as six weeks. But, given the extra time, it expects to gain greater acceptance for the program, which requires retailers to provide floor space in exchange for the marketing materials.

The program has been popular with Hispanic grocers since Tecate entered boxing in 2007. The brewery thinks that, by creating promotional materials in Spanish and English, it can gain greater penetration in general market retail chains.

Boughton has often explained that Tecate’s play in boxing is built around connecting with the most marketable fights, regardless of whether the fighters are Hispanic, because Spanish-speaking boxing fans have proved that they’ll purchase big-event pay-per-views regardless of the fighters’ ethnicity. A study prepared for promoter Top Rank and Leverage Agency in 2009 found that 13 percent of Hispanics had purchased pay-per-view boxing in the prior year, compared with 2 percent of non-Hispanics.

Along with the promotional tools it typically brings to a big fight — such as a mobile boxing museum that will tour stores across the country — Tecate this week will launch its first full-fledged social networking play, a Tecate boxing Facebook page that will aggregate boxing news and also deliver original content, such as highlights from fights it sponsors and interviews leading up to big events.