What Businesses and Marketers Can Learn from Canelo vs. GGG 2

Boxing Promoters are Excellent Marketers

Rewind back to September 16th, 2017. The highly anticipated boxing match between two boxing superstars, Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, finally takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The fight was incredible with both fighters landing thudding punches, dodging jabs and putting their heart into every minute of the fight.

After 12 rounds of back and forth action, the final bell rings and Michael Buffer walks to the center of the ring, microphone and score card in hand. By this time, many considered Gennady Golovkin, the challenger, to be the winner.

As the results we read off, spectators were stunned as Buffer announces a one of the judges soring the fight 118–110 score in favor of Canelo (the other scores being 113–115 for GGG and 114–114). The fight was ruled a split decision draw. The crowd booed, twitter went crazy and of course, a rematch was talked about in the post fight interviews. Many believed the fight was rigged, like Canelo couldn’t lose because a clash between these two titans would have too much money at stake to only last for one fight.

If one thing is for sure, it’s that boxing promoters are excellent marketers. Boxing enthusiasts know that this wasn’t the only good fight available — there are many other stars they’d love to watch. However, this was one of the most widely publicized fights, and boxing just caught a few new eyes after the ‘fight’ between Connor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather which took place only one moth prior.

So what can businesses and marketers learn from boxing promoters? Plenty. Here are a few lessons that can be learned from the sweet science of boxing promotion.

Clearly Identify a Problem

The problem here is obvious, a controversial split decision tie between two fighters that needs to be resolved. With two fighters that are regarded as the best in the best in their division, who get’s to say they’re number 1? On a more macro level, how will the sport of boxing defend it’s legitimacy when it’s become ‘clear’ that one of the judges scorecards were bias?

Without first identifying a problem (sometimes called a pain point), it will be difficult to convince consumers that there’s a need for what you’re offering, thus making it difficult to create demand and market effectively.

Present a Viable Solution

How do boxers determine who actually won their fight? Easy, they fight again. In this case, it’s pretty obvious as to what the solution is, but (very) hypothetically we could have relied on the results of experts and the networks keeping score from the sidelines.

Viable is the key here. Is your solution (product or service) easy to use and does that make sense for the consumer’s needs? Will using your product or service create a measurable result? Or does your solution actually cause more problems and frustrations for your target customer?

For marketers, the key is in your messaging and educational strategies. Presenting a solution in away that makes it seem as if it easily integrates with your consumer’s life will greatly impact your results.

Create Reactions to Create Awareness

During the training for the rematch originally scheduled for May 5th, 2018, Canelo tested positive for banned substances which postponed then later cancelled the rematch between the two fighters. Almost on cue, news stations, sportscasters and sports fans created an uproar, bringing even more attention a rematch between the fighters.

This may have been serendipitous, but in my opinion, nothing in boxing ever happens by chance. Just like the sport itself, the business of boxing is strategic and calculated.

Controversies like this one have ‘coincidentally’ occurred time after time to raise the awareness of potential fights like Pacquiao testing positive for performance enhancing drugs before the Mayweather fight happened, or when Connor McGregor made racist comments before his fight with Mayweather. All of these obviously created enormous reactions from sports fans all across the world.

For marketers, I believe it’s important to understand that creating meaningful reactions from your audience is a major key to successful campaigns.

Do your creative assets create a reaction? Are your videos shareable, do your articles spark thought and do your photos get thumbs to stop?

Drive Demand with a Solid Storyline

After the May 5th fight with Canelo was cancelled, GGG went on to fight Vanes Martirosyan instead. It definitely was not what the fans wanted to see, however I believe this was an excellent choice by boxing promoters — because it would be an easy knock out for Gennady, thus heightening expectations for the rematch with Canelo Alvarez.

Golovkin proved himself to be capable of sensational knockouts even after chatter that he may be past his prime — why wouldn’t fans want a fighter like that in the ring with the highly regarded champion, Canelo?

After GGG’s win against Martisoyan, chatter started again with negotiations between Golovkin and Canelo getting heated over splits of the purse of the fight, another common tactic in Boxing to heighten anticipation for a big fight.

Was Canelo actually using performance enhancing drugs? Can Gennady score a knockout against the Mexican Superstar? Who really won the first fight? These questions have been planted in the minds of every boxing fan the world, creating and incredible storyline that can only be resolved with a rematch between the two fighters.

When marketing your product or service, consider the story your buyer is being told. For example in real estate, it could be painting a picture of the client’s children attending a near by school. For a health supplement, it could be the long active lifestyle taking their product might help support.

Build Value with Your Pricepoints

In the first fight between the two champions it cost $69.99 to watch the fight in standard definition and $79.99 for high-definition. Tickets to watch the fight live were between $300 and $5000, and that’s just for the consumer. Consider the sponsorship fees for the event, everything from the Tecate logo in the middle of the ring to the patches on each fighter’s shorts. Many argue that boxing is more business than it is a sport.

Who knows how much this fight will cost to watch? With the added hype around this rematch, I wouldn’t be surprised if the price bumped up for pay-per-view and for tickets, but what’s clear is that there’s the definite starting point. It’s not going to cost less than the first fight. Sponsorship fees will skyrocket, but advertisers know that the attention from this many viewers is worth an astronomical amount of money.

In many cases, a strategic price point can heighten the demand of a product, or make it seem more valuable. For example, Grey Goose Vodka can be purchased at $85 per bottle but a similar vodka, distilled in the exact same way by Kirkland Signature is a third of the price. Remember, value is subjective, and it’s up to you to create it for your buyers.

In many cases, a strategic price point can heighten the demand of a product, or make it seem more valuable.

Land Your ‘Right Hook’

Gary Vaynerchuk’s best selling book on marketing, ‘Jab Jab Jab, Right Hook’ — couldn’t have been more fitting for an event like this. What does it mean? deliver value, deliver value, deliver value, then ask for the sale.

In this case, we are yet to see the results of all the marketing for the the rematch between the two champions, but we’re sure they’ll land their right hook right on the chin.

When structuring your marketing campaigns, it is important to time your call to action ads wisely. Each phase of the buyer’s journey requires unique messaging and strategic delivery. For example, someone may ‘discover’ you on Instagram but seek to ‘find’ you on Google. How might your messaging change to differ on each platform to create the best results?

Businesses and marketers could learn a thing or two from boxers and their promoters. Boxers study their target, and use their skills to optimize their results in the ring. Promoters are experts at getting the word out — understanding what creates demand and what sells tickets. And just like in marketing, all the training and hype in the world may still lead to missed punches. When that happens (because it will) reassess your strategies and get in there for another round.

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President of Blue Light Media| Helping companies and individuals build brands on social media. Let's chat: @miqk on everything