Last weekend saw Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeat Conor McGregor in a boxing match which has been one of the most talked-about and lucrative sporting events ever. The official figures are yet to be released, but it’s rumoured that the fight achieved 6.5 million pay-per-view buys in the US alone and that total revenues could exceed $700 million. One study has claimed that Mayweather made $59,347, and McGregor $17,804, per each second that elapsed during the bout.
On the night veteran Mayweather, 40, who came out of retirement for the fight, defeated Irish UFC superstar McGregor in the tenth round to take his career record to 50-0 and his net worth undoubtedly higher than the $340 million previously estimated.
But how did both fighters generate such a buzz ahead of the event and maximise their own wealth and fame in the process?
The answer: an exquisite and effective PR campaign which sucked in a colossal audience and generated a vast amount of hype and awareness.
We highlight four of the key ingredients below…
High profile press conferences and interviews – As well as conducting a string of high profile individual interviews and ‘all access’ shows, the pair faced off in front of the media in Toronto, Los Angeles, Brooklyn and London in the run up to the bout. McGregor’s attention-grabbing trash-talk and Mayweather’s ability to raise intrigue by talking up his opponent created headlines around the world which raised the profile of the fight dramatically
Social media activity – McGregor opted to upload to Instagram daily shots of his training regime whereas Mayweather posted images of himself eating burgers and travelling to suggest he didn’t need to train seriously. Social media provided the fighters with a platform to reach and excite a huge audience at the click of a button
Powerful personalities – Despite Mayweather accusing McGregor of stealing ‘his blueprint’ by speaking his mind, dressing elaborately and showing off his wealth, both fighters have individual personas that they lived up to throughout. Both Conor ‘The Notorious’ McGregor and Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather clearly understand their audience and know how to use their personalities to connect with people and sell the show in the process
Exploiting the narrative – Every high-profile event has an interesting backstory. This fight raised the prospect of two tantalising outcomes: if McGregor won, it would have been one of the greatest ever sporting upsets. With Mayweather’s victory, he reached 50 wins from 50 fights and surpassed legend Rocky Marciano, thereby becoming the world’s most successful professional boxer. These two possibilities were constantly referred to and amplified in the run up to the fight