Fight of the Century – What can Marketers Learn from it.

Abstract: The effectiveness of marketing is in getting people to talk about the product/service before the launch. That was the case with the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao boxing match. What can marketers learn from the campaign? Read here. First published on my LinkedIn.
I don’t watch boxing. Neither do I want to. I think there is something wrong about a sport which uses skill and talent to cause bodily harm to one another. Boxing is just one of these – sports like MMA and thai boxing are some of the other most violent personal combat sport. Anyways, this post is not to discuss my dislikes for some sports. It is about this particular fight – The ‘fight of the century’ as many put it – Mayweather vs. Pacquiao.
I was just one of the millions who watched this match live sitting at home just to see what the fuss was about. I also read about the massive marketing campaign behind the fight which reached the breakpoint in the last few months. This whole campaign can be compared to a big product/service launch – here are a few lessons that we can learn to make sure our launches are as successful and profitable as the ‘Manny vs. Floyd’ match.
1. Make it personal – Legend, Match of the Millennium, Testament to the Human Spirit etc. are just few words and phrases that were linked to the match. Even Achilles took part in the Great War only to become a legend and not for any material possession. Making it personal does something to the audience – it makes them emotional about a product/service – so make sure your launch hits that emotional quotient of your target.
2. Make it interesting and create hype – Make sure to launch only when the hype reaches a boiling point. From the never defeated contender against someone who has risen through the ranks, this fight has been touted for 5 years which gives it more than enough time for people to anticipate and look forward to it. For actual launches, a company might not have so much time but make sure to use the prelaunch time to get interesting teasers and stories out.
3. Make it exclusive – The stats for this fight are mind boggling. It might even become the most watched live event surpassing the Super Bowl. And one of the reasons is to make the live and personal fight exclusive. The television rights came much later after all the tickets were sold out. Make sure your launch hits your exclusive target first and then rolls out to the rest of the market.
4. Market, Market and Market – Go Social. Use all of the social channels to make sure the hype is created and people are talking about it (make sure only positive updates go out before the launch). Social media is a powerful medium to build that suspense before the launch.
5. Leverage the connected ecosystem – what I mean by this is that though this was just a boxing match, the connected ecosystem – the training, lifestyle and diet industry was massively leveraged. Websites such as curated the latest popular gear, diets, and discussions about their implementation. Extended target is an important and crucial step to success so make sure your launch brings together this connected ecosystem.
Well, I hope this post was useful unlike the fight :). I saw it, and the winner was Mayweather with a cash prize of over 150 million US dollars (I thought Pacquiao threw in more punches that Floyd) – by unanimous choice. Even Manny said he thought he won the fight.
Let me know what you think – not just about the fight but the post as well.

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