Vaseline signs on to become presenting sponsor for Ruiz-Joshua 2

December 6, 2019

According to Bill King of the Sports Business Journal, DAZN has secured a sponsorship deal with Vaseline ahead of Saturday’s fight between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz, Jr.

Financial terms were not disclosed but the petroleum jelly maker mainly associated with its application to boxer’s faces will be visible on the DAZN stream Saturday.  The brand will be in presenting sponsors positions and have its logo on a “corner cam.”

In addition, King reported that it has signed sponsors AutoZone and erectile dysfunction medication Roman for its North American telecasts.  Commercials for both will run during tomorrow’s telecast.

Payout Perspective:

The addition of a presenting sponsor reflects the big nature of this fight.  Despite what some believe is a controversial location for this fight, DAZN will see an uptick in subscriptions to watch tomorrow.  Vaseline, synonymous with boxing for its use on fighter’s faces to close and/or conceal cuts, will be all over the mat (perhaps literally) tomorrow in what the company believes will be a big value add.

Chavez, Jr. files lawsuit against NAC

December 5, 2019

MPO has obtained the Complaint filed by boxer Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. against the Nevada Athletic Commission for declining a drug test administered by the Commission. The boxer hopes to prevail with an injunction filed in conjunction with the Complaint as he has a fight December 20, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona that is at risk of being cancelled.

The lawsuit, filed in Clark County, Nevada, argues that Chavez did not hold a Nevada boxer’s license and was not subject to a NAC drug test.  According to the Complaint, an October 24, 2019 drug test at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California was turned down by Chavez.  As a result, on November 20, 2019 the NAC issued a temporary suspension to Chavez for his failure to participate in the drug test.  Chavez contends that since he was not licensed by the Commission, he had no obligation to participate in the drug testing process. He also argued in his complaint that the suspension of an unlicensed boxer is not permitted by law.

Chavez, Jr. is scheduled to fight Daniel Jacobs in Phoenix, Arizona on December 20th.  The fight, originally scheduled for the MGM Grand Garden Arena on the same date, was moved to Phoenix due to the November 20th ruling by the NAC.  The lawsuit hopes to allow Chavez, Jr. to fight despite the denial of a drug test.

A preliminary injunction will take place to determine whether Chavez, Jr. can fight on December 20th.  If granted, the fight is on, if not, one might expect that it would add to any potential damages in the lawsuit.

Complaint by Jason Cruz on Scribd

Payout Perspective:

Its important to note that Ross Goodman is the attorney for Chavez, Jr.  He also represented Wanderlei Silva in a similar case which went up to the Nevada State Supreme Court to address the issue of whether the NAC had jurisdiction over an unarmed combatant not licensed within the state.  The State Supreme Court did not issue a ruling as the underlying issues regarding Silva’s ban was not clarified by the commission.  Thus, there was no clear ruling on the issue.  Here, Goodman may get a second chance to determine what might be a loophole in the NAC code.  MMA Payout will keep you posted.


Wilder-Ortiz2 attendance, gate and purses

December 5, 2019

The Nevada Athletic Commission disclosed the attendance, gate and purses for last Saturday’s fight featuring the second fight between Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz.

The event drew 9,129 for a gate of $4,063,141.50 with 7,403 sold and 1,726 comps.

Via NAC:

Deontay Wilder: $3M
Luis Ortiz: $1.5M

Brandon Figueroa: $200,000
Julio Ceja: $50,000

Leo Santa Cruz: $750,000
Miguel Flores: $100,000

Leduan Barthelemy: $10,000
Eduardo Ramirez: $5,000

Arnold Alejandro: $7,000
Jhon Gemino: $8,000

Jose Manuel Gomez: $7,000
Daniel Placeres: $7,000

Viktor Slavinskyi: $7,000
Rigoberto Hermosillo: $8,000

Angel Alejandro: $6,000
Mark John Yap: $6,500

Omar Juarez: $6,000
Kevin Shacks: $4,500

Marsellos Wilder: $5,000
Dustin Long: $4,500

Vito Mielniki, Jr.: $4,000
Marklin Bailey: $3,000

Shon Mondragon: $5,000
Juan Centeno: $4,000

InDemand signs distribution deal for PPVs with AEW and PBC

December 3, 2019

Online media source Multichannel News reported that In Demand has signed a new deal with All Elite Wrestling and Premier Boxing Champions.

For All Elite Wrestling, the deal ensures a minimum of one PPV event per quarter through June 2021.  Also, PBC will look to have at least one PPV per quarter which would guarantee at least 8 PPVs per year from the two sources of content.

Comcast, Charter Communications and Cox Communications own InDemand.

Another note from the article is news that Showtime will air 2 to 4 PPVs via InDemand in 2020.

Payout Perspective:

The article seems to be positive about the prospects of the traditional forms of PPV offerings on MVPDs (multichannel video programming distributors) despite the fact that online platforms such as DAZN and ESPN+ have disrupted the industry. The new deal can be seen as content replacing the WWE when most its PPVs went to its own network.  Also, UFC and Top Rank went to ESPN+ and DAZN took Canelo, GGG and Anthony Joshua fights.  Will this deal replenish the buys left from the huge UFC events or a Canelo fight?  Maybe not.  The first test will be February 22nd’s Heavyweight Showdown between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder which is getting heavy buzz to surpass the 1 million PPV buy mark.

McGregor, Joshua top social media adds for 2019

November 30, 2019

The Sports Business Journal unveiled its Combat Sports Special Issue this past week which included several interesting tidbits about the changing landscape of boxing.  One of the points it reported on was the importance of social media among combat sports athletes.

MVPIndex compiles the reach, engagement and conversation among 90,000 athletes.  This year, Conor McGregor took over the top spot in MMA from Khabib Nurmogomedov while Anthony Joshua retained the top spot among boxers.

Notably, McGregor has the most followers as well as earning the most added followers from the November-November timeframe in which this was tracked.

After McGregor’s gain of 4,324,629, Khabib Nurmogomedov gained 3,760,387 earning him second on the list for 2019.  Nate Diaz’s return to the Octagon earned him an additional 2,362,301 for this year.  Diaz is followed by Rose Namajunas and Israel Adesanya respectively.

Anthony Joshua drew over 4.6 million more followers this year despite his upset loss this past June to Andy Ruiz.  He’s followed by young, up and coming star Ryan Garcia with over 2.7 million followers.  Canelo Alvarez, Joseph Parker and Manny Pacquiao followed Garcia.

Payout Perspective:

I’m sure you are asking why does this matter.  Certainly, none of the followers or engagements (i.e., likes, favorites) are verified as actual followers.  It could be one’s social media team for all we know.  But the data compiled is a sign of the times.  In looking at social media, you are looking how much of an “influencer” you are for your industry or demographic.  One might think of this as the Kardashian effect in which a huge following (no matter what you do), could be monetized into something.  For personal brands, the number of social media followers along the multiple platforms such as twitter, Instagram and YouTube would be appealing to advertisers looking to have a single tweet from an influencer about a product or service could be much more revealing (depending on engagement, likes, responses) than a static ad.  For folks like McGregor and Joshua, its a great way to monetize your brand.  McGregor has advertised his Proper Twelve Whiskey on his social media channels.

For MMA, McGregor’s legal troubles outside of MMA may have been the cause for so many followers.  Khabib’s philanthropic efforts in addition to his one fight in Abu Dhabi this year probably helped with his following.

While social media may be an objective way of viewing popularity and marketability of an athlete, its clear that companies are viewing this metric when basing decisions.

Wilder-Fury II date set for February 22nd

November 27, 2019

With his KO of Luis Ortiz this past Saturday, Deontay Wilder faces Tyson Fury in a much-anticipated rematch of their November 2018 fight which ended in a draw.  The two will square off on Saturday night February 22nd at a yet-to-be determined location.

The frontrunner for the event is in Las Vegas and at the MGM Grand.  The event will air on joint PPV via ESPN and Fox.

The event date is perfect as it comes after the NFL Season, prior to March Madness, NBA and NHL Playoffs and before spring training in baseball. The UFC is holding its big event for the month of February on the 8th when Jon Jones returns to defend h is UFC Light Heavyweight title against Dominic Reyes in Houston, Texas.

Wilder is 41-0-1 while Fury is 20-0-1.

Payout Perspective:

The rematch will do well on PPV as both have larger-than-life personalities and will sell the fight.  It’s clear that outside of a possible Wilder-Joshua fight, this is a fight most boxing fans want to see and will get.  Their first fight drew over 320,000 buys and one has to expect this second fight should hit 500,000 or event double the first bout.

Floyd announces return, could it be with Zuffa Boxing?

November 22, 2019

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. announced on social media that he would be coming out of retirement.  The announcement coincided with photos of himself and Dana White sitting courtside at a Los Angeles Clippers game.

Perhaps the two just trolling the combat sports industry.  Or, Floyd may be giving Zuffa Boxing a boost with lending his name and brand to an upstart boxing company Dana White promised fans.

News came out this summer that Zuffa Boxing made a hire to run that side of the business.  White also indicated that Zuffa Boxing would be up and running in October.  However, that has not happened.

Payout Perspective:

Could we really be seeing Floyd Mayweather return to the ring under the Zuffa Boxing banner?  The two worked together on the Mayweather-McGregor fight and it would not be out of the question that White would want Floyd to work with the company in some manner.  But its hard to believe that Floyd would box competitively again.  We should see in 2020.

Report: Ad buyers frustrated with lack of data from UFC on ESPN+, DAZN programming

November 19, 2019

According to a report from Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand advertisers are growing weary of the unknown viewership numbers that are watching online content such as the UFC on ESPN+.  The concern may lead to a demand from advertisers to provide solid numbers for specific program for direct-to-consumer platforms.

At a National Association of Broadcasters panel in New York Adam Schwartz, Horizon Media’s senior vice president and director of sports media noted that his company has pushed for specific numbers as to how many consumers are watching specific programming.  Notably Schwartz buys advertising packages for the likes of Geico, Sprint, Capital One, Burger King and Corona.

He noted that the UFC on ESPN + has been frustrating to decipher because rather than provide advertisers with actual viewership numbers, ESPN+ provides an overall number of subscribers.  According to the SBJ report from Schwartz’ appearance on the panel, there is a UFC sponsor (name not revealed) that entered into a deal with the company prior to the ESPN+ contract and was promised a specific number of viewers.

Additionally, DAZN has not provided concrete numbers for its MMA or Boxing events.  Schwartz cites these two as challenges for advertisers because they must make a monetary decision based on speculation.  Without concrete data, its hard to prove whether or not the advertising campaign was successful, influenced its target audience or was a bust.  Furthermore, it would be hard to convince your buyer of the bottom line if the specific program does not provide ratings that one might be able to assess.

Payout Perspective:

One of the questions that loomed when content moved to digital platforms was how would programming be tracked.  Television ratings are prevalent and are easy to access. Ad buyers are able to analyze the numbers of viewers watching and breaking down the demographics to determine how to target a specific audience.  As we have learned from this report, online content viewership of specific events is not released to even advertisers.  One might also believe this to be true of UFC PPV events.  While DAZN has noted it gained subscribers for big events, it does not disclose specifics.  Similarly, the UFC has not provided solid numbers unless it wants it to be known.  This may not be fair to the media.  But it would be frustrating for an ad buyer that cannot quantify its return on investment.

The panel did note that advertisers may seek to pay a premium for the specific numbers which might entice digital holders to provide them.  Of course, disclosing the information would make tracking the viewership patterns easier and the possibility that the media would get a hold of the information.

IBF rules that Pulev to get winner of Ruiz-Joshua

November 14, 2019

MMA Payout has learned that the IBF has ruled on the appeal of presumptive number one heavyweight contender Kubrat Pulev and determined that he will get the next shot at the title.  But that will happen after Ruiz fights Anthony Joshua.

Pulev filed an appeal to the IBF citing that he should be the one to fight Ruiz instead of a rematch against Joshua.  Ruiz upset Joshua this past June in New York and a rematch was set.  But, Pulev citing the fact that he should be next in line at the title, not a rematch with Ruiz, filed an appeal with the IBF in an attempt to force the fight.

Last month, Pulev’s attorneys attempted to obtain Ruiz’s contract in a lawsuit filed against Ruiz by Joshua’s representation forcing the rematch.  However, the Court denied the attempt citing procedural issues.  Notably, the appeal to the IBF was to have happened October 10th however MMA Payout was not made aware of the ruling from the IBF until today.

The ruling as conveyed to MMA Payout is as follows:

Based on the recommendation of the Appeal Panel, and after consultation with the Championships Committee under Rule 12.F., the IBF hereby orders:

  1. The bout between Andy Ruiz, Jr. and Anthony Joshua must take place on or before December 7, 2019.

  1. The winner of that bout shall fight Kubrat Pulev next, with no intervening bouts, in an IBF mandatory bout on or before May 31, 2020.

  1. Andy Ruiz, Jr. and Anthony Joshua must agree in writing to indemnify, hold harmless and otherwise reimburse the IBF for any and all legal fees or other expenses related to the granting of said Exception, including, but not limited to, the costs attendant to any resultant litigation. (IBF Rule 11.F.)

Ruiz and Joshua 2 will happen in Saudi Arabia on December 7th on DAZN in the U.S.

PBC Countdown draws 686,000 viewers this past Saturday

November 13, 2019

Fox is reporting that the PBC Countdown telecast this past Saturday featuring Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz drew 686,000 viewers.

It is the best PBC Countdown telecast of 2019 and the second-best viewership overall since December of 2018.

Wilder-Ortiz takes place Saturday November 23rd on Fox PPV.

Payout Perspective:

The shoulder programming for this event has seen an increase in viewership. One can only think that the newfound interest in the Heavyweight Division has helped facilitate the viewers for the event.  Wilder’s persona and his KO ability makes him a marketable feature that people are willing to watch.

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