February 27, 2018
After an impressive 10 rounds in the ring, Mayweather beat McGregor, claiming his 50th victory and maintaining his unbeaten record. The fight will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the most lucrative fights of all time, not only for Mayweather, who earned $100 million and McGregor who walked away with $30 million, but to all the brands who were involved with 50 million Americans alone, tuning into watch the iconic match.
Brands were going crazy to be part of the event with sponsorship negotiations taking place right up until the last minute. Corona reportedly snapped up a one-off billboard in the centre of the ring for $10 million, which was announced on the 18th of August, just a week before the match. Previously it would have been difficult to measure the results of the sponsorship, however thanks to improved technology and social media, it’s become much easier to measure engagement and sentiment around sponsorships, with Twitter going into meltdown with the #MayweathervMcGregor trending a week before the match. Thanks to its centre stage billboard Corona was mentioned in approximately 10,000 tweets, with approximately 9,100 tweets mentioning Corona and another 700 mentioning the Corona girls.
Neither fighter actually had a shoe sponsorship lined up, but due to the fighter’s footwear on the night, during the course of the match 91 tweets mentioned McGregor and Reebok. Adidas also scored some press from the event with another 179 tweets mentioning Mayweather and Adidas. T-Mobile was obviously one of the of the big hitters in terms of sponsorship, with having the naming rights to the arena, however it’s interesting that some unofficial sponsors, managed to get in on some of the action too.
Why is this? Well, the associations that people have between athletes and brands are key. Although the event brought great press for all of those involved, it’s interesting that Reebok and Adidas, although not officially affiliated with the match, received huge engagement. This shows that brand associations are built up over time and pre-fight campaigns for any new sponsors should have been part of their sponsorship strategy. Corona only signed the deal a week before, so it could be argued there wasn’t enough of a strategy behind this and the knee-jerk fashion of it, meant there wasn’t enough time to properly activate the campaign. However, we’re here talking about it and the Corona girls caught the eye of many, so we’re not doubting the campaigns success, however it does beg the question, why Reebok and Adidas, didn’t get in on the official sponsorship action.
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