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Volume 23 No. 1
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Mayweather-Cotto shatters Golden Boy’s records for sponsor rights fees, promotional value

Fight promoter Richard Schaefer scanned the poster for this Saturday’s pay-per-view bout pitting Floyd Mayweather against Miguel Cotto, rattling off the names of brands sponsoring the fight.

“We needed two lines for all the logos,” Schaefer said, chuckling. “This is clearly eclipsing anything we’ve done before. We’ve gotten to the point where brands are putting themselves behind the sport.”

With Corona at the center of the ring mat, joined by sponsors AT&T, DeWalt, O’Reilly Auto Parts, History Channel and the Mexican state of Puebla, the CEO of Golden Boy Promotions estimates the fight will bring in about $2 million in sponsor rights fees and a promotional value of at least $8.5 million. Both figures easily beat the company’s previous highs of about $1 million in cash and $4 million to $5 million in promotion, set when Mayweather won by split decision over Golden Boy principal owner Oscar De La Hoya on Cinco de Mayo weekend in 2007.

The sponsors’ promotional activity includes:

DeWalt advertising the fight in more than 1,300 Home Depot stores, with fight-themed contests in more than 250 stores and Spanish-language radio spots to promote the contests and the pay-per-view.

O’Reilly pushing the fight with a monthlong promotion in 3,800 stores, tied to movie theater telecasts of the pay-per-view. O’Reilly also will spend almost $1.5 million advertising the fight on Spanish and English radio in the two weeks leading up to the event.

AT&T advertising its GoPhone through a national English and

The ring mat for the Mayweather-Cotto fight is full of sponsors.
Spanish cable buy that includes footage promoting the fight.

NCM Fathom, which will distribute the fight for viewing in about 350 U.S. theaters, running trailers promoting the fight on 7,000 screens.

“You always could get the couple of hundred thousand dollars from a company to be on the ring mat for a big fight, but that’s not really what we want — not by itself,” Schaefer said. “We’ve been working for years now to convince brands how important activation is in this sport, as it has been in other sports. With this sponsor lineup, you see that the efforts are paying off.”

The fight also is getting strong support from HBO parent Time Warner Cable, Schaefer said. Turner will air drop-ins during the NBA playoffs this week, as well as running all four episodes of the HBO “24/7” series Tuesday night through Friday night. The show airs weekly on CNN — albeit on Saturdays at midnight. Time Warner also has devoted outdoor billboards, along with other advertising.

The one category that will deliver less promotional activation than Golden Boy typically gets is beer. Corona recently unseated longtime Golden Boy Productions sponsor Tecate, which has been the sport’s most visible sponsor in North America since entering in 2007.

Corona, which signed on with Golden Boy in March, dwarfs Tecate with its media spending. But it has no history of activating behind boxing in stores, as Tecate has, offering large retail programs that include rebate coupons for those who purchase the pay-per-view. Schaefer said retail promotion will come in future fights. But the deal wasn’t done in time for the brewery to put anything in place for this fight.

Corona’s Golden Boy deal will be similar to Tecate’s old deal, giving the brewery first crack at Golden Boy events, but not exclusivity across all of those events.

“This is all relatively new,” Schaefer said. “But we are convinced that, if you look at the Corona platforms, which are available on a national basis, this will give us even greater reach.”