The richest fight in boxing history is almost upon us. On May 2, Floyd Mayweather will look to get within one victory of the great Rocky Marciano’s flawless 49-0 record, taking on Manny Pacquiao, one of the greatest boxers of his generation, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
It’s the fight with everything but principally it has money, hype and the status of “the best pound-for-pound fight ever” at stake.
There are a several lessons that brands can learn from this fight. Here are 4 of the big ones:
It’s all about entertainment – Nothing draws consumer to content better than guaranteed entertainment. Brands can often forget this and develop content that assumes that consumers will be enthralled by the intimate details of their brand’s features. Tell a compelling and entertaining story first and this content will allow the consumer to develop positive association and loyalty to your brand.
The value of content is virtually limitless – this is the fight that everybody has been waiting for. Mayweather and Pacquiao have been trying to make it happen for 10 years; the anticipation has created the richest fight in history, with as much as $400 million at stake. That enormous sum was made possible by the unprecedented interest in this content – to watch it on TV, see it live and buy the merchandise.
It’s also about what happens next – Whoever wins on May 2, after the fight the boxing world will want only more – a rematch. There is no way that either fighter would have agreed to the fight without acknowledging that there will be a rematch that will likely be worth even more than the original fight. The lesson: What happens once your brand’s content is published? What is the next step? And how are you going to deliver a return on investment on the cost of putting it out there? All of these things need to be thought through in advance, which sets goal to achieve, so that you can develop metrics that any successful content marketing needs.
Strong brands tell good stories – Mayweather may be the most arrogant and disliked figure in boxing history, but, man, does he sell tickets! He has carefully cultivated the persona of the ultimate bad-boy performer, driven by money and fame. Fortunately for him, his showmanship is matched by his incredible boxing skills. Pacquiao couldn’t be more different. He works tirelessly for charity, sings karaoke with his friends for entertainment and may run for the office of President of The Philippines. So, here we have two hugely popular and well-defined brands. Their mutual exclusivity makes it easy for consumers to pick a favorite and get behind their brand. The lesson: Brands need to make their stories equally simple and compelling for their audiences.
I know which fighter I’m rooting for. Do you?
Nobody should forget that Mayweather served two months of a 90-day sentence in a Nevada prison in the summer of 2012 for domestic violence and battery against Josie Harris, the mother of three of his four children. I for one will never support any sportsman who has been the perpetrator of domestic violence, whether that be Mayweather, Ray Rice or a former hero of mine, the Irish boxer Steve Collins.
I hope the old warrior Pacquiao has enough left in him to silence Mayweather and deny him the legendary status he craves. Go Manny!