In just a few hours the biggest fight of the year -or as it has been promoted, “the battle of the century”– will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada.
No doubt this will one of the biggest and most anticipated sporting events of the year; that could turn to be the biggest fight in the history of the sport!! Why is that?! Because two of the biggest and strongest brands in the world of sport; Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor will fight in a boxing match.
What makes this fight so unique, is the uncertainty on who will win, with two athletes that seem to come from two worlds apart ! While Floyd Mayweather also known with his lifestyle brand “The Money Team (TMT)”; is a boxing legend, many even dislike the fact that he is a legend because of his style of boxing, but he has the unbeatable track record of 49 fights (49-0, 26 KOs) yes, zero loses… nothing less that at the age of 40. On the other hand, Conor McGregor, the 29 year old Irish warrior, is coming from an MMA background; he built his fame in the UFC -being the champion in two different categories- he is the UFC champion at 145 and 155 pounds.
The other aspect that makes this fight unique and anticipated, is the strength of their personalities; and their unique fight strategies; while, Mayweather changed the game of Boxing by minimizing the risk during the fight but maximizing his profit, his opponent, McGregor, the man who ignoring all the norms and setting new standards in the sport, both in and out of the cage, which is something that never happened before and successfully dragging a lot attention.
We all like game changers and things seen for the first time, but what strikes me above all, is the mental game McGregor puts on every time. He deployed this attitude during the last 4 press tour “debates” and – even though I did not like all the trash talk- I have to admit that it is a valid strategy…. which now will have to complement with super powerful on-ring skills if he wants not only to rise victorious from the match, but also to consolidate as the newest star in the sport… and in the people’s hearts! even that many experts doubting his boxing abilities; former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson predicted McGregor “is going to get killed in boxing.”!!
Now, putting aside the prediction of who will win the fight tonight, or talking about Mayweather and his defensive style vs the style of the younger and maybe hungrier Irish contender equipped with full self-confidence and mastering mind games, I would like to look a bit at the business model of the big fight, this “mega show”. Very soon you will understand the marketing genius behind it, which includes 4 extraordinary press tours, taking place in major international cities “Los Angeles, Toronto, New York & London”, and watched by millions on YouTube, followed by even more millions replicated through all possible social media channels, all over the world. And if you’re still scenario about the power of social media combined with a good Marketing strategy, give a look at the following numbers:
- To watch the fight, through PPV (pay-per-view); the pricing is at $99 (AED 367) world-wide; while in USA; users will have to pay $89.99 (AED 330) to watch in standard definition and with an addition $10 at $99.99 (AED367) for High Definition. In the UK (for Republic of Ireland customers) the fight will cost viewers $26 (AED 95).
- The target is to achieve 5 million viewers world-wide; this means $500 million (AED1.836 billion) using both the boxing plus the UFC and MMA platforms! (over 4 million people paid to watch Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao in 2014), Half a billion dollar in a couple of hours, not bad, right?
- According to Forbes, Floyd Mayweather is expected to make $100 million (AED 367.31 million), which could go to four-times that amount if the event achieves all of its monetary metrics (mainly PPV targets); and McGregor is stated to earn $75 million (AED 276 million) which is five times more than what he has made from any UFC event. Both men signed a confidentiality agreement that restricts them from publicly communicating the financial details of the deal
UFC president Dana White has defended the decision to charge viewers nearly $100 to watch the fight.
“When you talk about superfights, this is a superfight. Two different guys from two different sports going in and putting it on the line. You can’t charge what you normally charge for a pay-per-view, I get it.
“There was pushback on the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao superfight and it ended up being the biggest fight ever in the history of PPV,” he added.
- At the same time, there will be live stream (OTT) over-the-top content of the fight, by the service provider NeuLion, which numbers are to be released after the fight
- On the other hand, to attend the fight, the lowest-priced tickets set at value of $2,500 (AED 9183); prices are $5,000 (AED 18,367) near the ring, and “platinum” seats cost up to $14,995 (AED 55,100)
- Considering all of this data, plus unrevealed values for sponsorship, the assumption is that this fight will reach $1 billion (AED 3.67 billion), for a one-night show.
To conclude, I believe no matter who will win, this is a great example of how sport is an excellent platform for entertainment, that capable of generating massive -and I mean really “massive” money.
Enjoy the fight if you are one of 5 million 🙂