As what is said to be 2015’s biggest weekends in sports, this past weekend was a sport fan’s dream with baseball, basketball, horse racing and, of course, the “The Fight of the Century.” However, if you are involved in the sports business industry, particularly sponsorships/advertising, this weekend went beyond what was on the court, field, or ring. Some marketing ploys may not seem quite as obvious to the casual sports fan. However, sports marketers can often times catch a brand’s clever product placement. So which brands really stood out in “The Fight of the Century?”
If you wanted to partake in any Monday morning office conversation, you likely watched the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao fight, even if you have never watched a boxing match before. In that case, there is no way you missed Tecate’s presence throughout the entire fight. As the presenting sponsor, the beer brand’s logo was plastered not only all over the ring, but all over Las Vegas. Additionally, Tecate heavily activated their $5.6M sponsorship digitally with their #MyBoldOpinion Twitter campaign. While this campaign was ultimately used by fans to voice their opinions on who would win the fight, the hashtag was used by anyone who had a general bold opinion to share via Twitter.
As sports marketers, we tend to pay closer attention to other sponsors who paid big bucks to be associated with this event including Hublot, Fan Duel, Asian Airlines, Verizon and Geico. Remember any of these? Mayweather’s and Pacquiao’s shorts may be a great place to start, but the others may not be as obvious. For those who follow Manny Pacquiao on Twitter, it may seem as if he loved taking selfies. Little do most fans know, this was actually clever paid advertising by Verizon, utilizing Paquiao. In his selfie posts, he used the hastag #GalaxyS6, as well as used the actual phone to take the pictures. In addition to Verizon’s clever product placement, Geico made an appearance on the headband of one of Pacquiao’s entourage members. Interestingly, he was was the only member wearing the Geico logo-ed headband, likely not by accident.
You may have, also, noticed a large difference in the number of logos on Pacquiao’s shorts versus Mayweather’s. While Pacquiao had logos splattered across his shorts, Mayweather’s had only two that most people who paid close enough attention could recall: Hublot and Fan Duel. Mayweather has been known to not allow sponsor’s logos on his shorts. Knowing that, Hublot and Fan Duel likely paid a hefty sum to change his mind. Both brands even made their way into Floyd Mayweather’s victory speech a couple times. While in your face advertising is sometimes the best and obvious solution, brands are smart to activate their sponsorships across several platforms in order to fully target and engage with fans.