Boxing matches between two heavyweight competitors have always amplified excitement and anticipation with sports fans. But when you have a crossover boxing event involving professional fighters from different branches of combat sports, the unusual pairing can often draw the attention of viewers who may not usually tune in to a UFC fight. Believe it or not, this is one of the most effective marketing strategies of the UFC.
UFC’s Strategy in Marketing Propels Their Success
The 2017 crossover match between lightweight professional boxer Floyd Mayweather and UFC champion Conor McGregor was marketed as “The Biggest Fight in Combat Sports History” and “The Money Fight” after Mayweather’s nickname. It took place in Paradise, Nevada, at the T-Mobile Arena on August 26th. The live sports event was one of the most anticipated in history. In fact, it became the second-highest pay-per-view event purchased with 4.3 million viewers in North America. It ranks just under Mayweather’s 2015 fight with Manny Pacquiao that had 4.6 million viewers.
The fight was scheduled to go twelve rounds. However, it ended in the 10th round as Mayweather secured his undefeated streak to 50 impressive victories and zero defeats. He beat McGregor during the 10th round with a TKO.
Mayweather vs. McGregor: A Marketer’s Dream Come True
The hero versus villain tactic played into the hype surrounding the match and added to the excitement, which helped to give sales a significant boost. While both fighters had an impressive history and an abundance of fans, in the marketing narrative, Connor was the story’s antagonist, urging Mayweather to come out of retirement. It was as if a tale straight out of a summer blockbuster film was coming to life. McGregor took to social media to strategically trash talk his opponent. As a result, his role as the story’s villain became even more evident. That narrative helped the pay-per-view sales to skyrocket.
What Marketing Tips Can We Learn from the Money Fight?
There are several great marketing takeaways from the Mayweather vs. McGregor match.
Know Your Audience
It’s essential to know your audience and understand what will excite them the most. These fighters were known for their larger-than-life personas. Therefore, creating an ad campaign around a good versus evil storyline was the perfect angle.
Know Your Competitors
These two fighters spent time researching past fights and trademark moves to create a winning fight strategy. Therefore, as a marketer, you need to do your own research on your competition. This research will enable you to find their weakness and use it as an advantage for your company.
Look for Inspiration in New and Unexpected Ways
A crossover match is designed to make us wonder what if. Placing these two athletes in a ring together not only created an epic and historical sporting event but also an epic marketing event. It told us a compelling story and gave us interesting social media content to build momentum. You can use these same strategies in everyday marketing scenarios to give your ad campaign a boost.
Crossover boxing events definitely offer good marketing strategies for the UFC. The hyped storyline created around the fight and the background of these two highly competitive professional athletes helped entice fans of both professional boxing and UFC. It also got the attention of other viewers who would not usually buy a UFC event but wanted to watch the outcome of this historic match.
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