June 28, 2013
ESPN’s Dan Rafael reports that the Floyd Mayweather, Jr. v. Canelo Alvarez fight set for September 14th has sold out. All seats for the fight sold out in less than 24 hours and has broken the record for all-time live gate for boxing.
The gate, which may draw close to $19 million depending on the number of comps will surpass the old record held by Mayweather and Oscar de la Hoya. Tickets ranged from $350 to $2,000 per seat for the fight which will be at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The hype tour has started and Golden Boy and Showtime is going all out for this event. The 11 city promotional tour will cost over $1 million. Despite the lofty costs, Golden Boy/Showtime it will pay off. One need only look to the quick sellout for evidence of this. There’s no indication how many tickets hotels/casinos bought but the bottom line is that the event sold out in less than a day which was the likely hope/strategy in promoting the fight.
June 25, 2013
Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports reports that Saturday night’s Paulie Malignaggi-Adrien Broner fight scored 1.3 million viewers on Showtime. The ratings reflect an uptick in ratings for Showtime and a budding star in Broner.
It was a free preview weekend for Showtime although the 1.3 million ratings is premised upon the number of Showtime subscribers. Currently, Showtime has somewhere north of 18 million subscribers.
Paulie-Broner was the second highest ranked fight on Showtime with only the Miguel Cotto-Austin Trout fight from December scoring higher. In fact four of the highest rated boxing events have occurred in the past 10 months.
UPDATE: As pointed out below, the average for the fight was 890K viewers with the peak at 1.3M.
Broner’s HBO fight with Gavin Rees in February earned 1.4 million viewers making “The Problem Child” a cable ratings success as his two fights have been the highest rated this year. The ratings reflect Showtime’s surge in its boxing portfolio. With Canelo-Mayweather picking up steam for September which will undoubtedly include a 360 series and other sorts of promotion hype, boxing is doing well for the network. With Broner, Showtime may have found the successor to Mayweather.
June 24, 2013
The Sports Business Journal reports that Corona is affixing faces of familiar fighters on lines of bottles starting in mid-August. The boxers are Miguel Cotto, Bernard Hopkins, Peter Quillin, Erik Morales, Abner Mares and Danny Garcia.
The fighters will be included in 18-packs in 32 states distributed primarily to Hispanic accounts. The promotion starting in August will run through October. Three commemorative bottles will be included in the 18 packs.
According to the SBJ (subscription required), this will be the first time that Corona will build a retail promotion around boxing. In a way, Corona’s promotion concedes the fact that Tecate has been successful with its in-store retail promotions (i.e., $25 rebate coupon for certain Pacquiao fights if fans bought Tecate can products).
Corona distributor Crown Imports signed on as a Golden Boy Promotions sponsor and its the company’s first major in-store promotion. Golden Boy sees the opportunity to activate in 50 states which gives it a bigger reach than Tecate’s previous in-store promotions which were narrowly targeted.
While the promotion seeks to target the Hispanic market with a direct emphasis on Mexican Independence Day in September, the bottles feature two Mexicans (Morales, Mares), two Puerto Ricans (Cotto, Carcia) and two African Americans (BHop, Quillin).
The promotion not only features the fighters but taps into the cultural pride. Notably, it hopes to capitalize on a fight featuring Miguel Cotto in mid-September. What about that other fight happening on September 14th between Canelo Alvarez and Floyd Mayweather? While it would have made the most sense, there were obstacles from having the two featured on bottles. First, at 22 years of age, Canelo Alvarez is too young to appear in beer ads per U.S. beer industry rules. Mayweather declined to appear on the bottles.
While a survey reveals Corona is the preferred imported beer among Hispanics in the U.S., we will see if this promotion aids Golden Boy’s upcoming fights. Moreover, will the promotion see a return on the costs expended for it.
June 8, 2013
ESPN Dan Rafael drew Dana White-like criticism from Showtime’s Stephen Espinosa last week for stating that May’s Mayweather-Guererro PPV drew less than 1 million PPV buys. Rafael indicated that it sold around 870,000 PPV buys and wondered when Showtime would release an estimate.
If you understood the PPV business, you wouldn’t have to wonder “@danrafaelespn: Wonder when the network will put out an actual number”
— Stephen Espinoza (@StephenEspinoza) June 4, 2013
@stephenespinoza Funny, I was going to say if you understood it you’d know the fight did less than 1M.
— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) June 4, 2013
Instead of an estimate, the public received the announcement that Mayweather would be facing Canelo Alvarez on September 14th. This is the fight that many assumed would happen next Cinco de Mayo weekend. Could moving the fight up to September be a result of the poor ratings from the Guererro fight? The Canelo Alvarez is the fight that Showtime hopes will set the all-time PPV mark.
There are obvious reasons why this PPV may have scored less than expected. First, many did not know Roberto Guererro and it wasn’t clear how much of an opponent he would be for Mayweather. Second, which is tied with the first, is that there was not much buzz for the fight. Although I thought Showtime did a good job with its All Access shows, there was less controversy occurring running up to the fight. Finally, the practical reason is the $70 price tag ($65 for non-HD). This is the second straight $70 PPV which has not produced the numbers it was projected to do. Wrestlemania 29 earlier this year yielded slightly over 1 million PPV buys but did not exceed the numbers from the year before. Have we reached the tipping point for how much people will pay for PPVs?
Certainly, the return of Mayweather could have been overestimated which could concern Showtime and its investment in the highest paid athlete according to Forbes.
May 7, 2013
Welcome to a special edition of Payout Perspective where we take a look at Floyd Mayweather’s latest fight since last May as he took on Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Mayweather fights technical masterpiece against Guerrero
It wasn’t exciting but Mayweather showed that he still has it. While Guerrero had his moments, Mayweather took a bulk of the rounds to win by unanimous decision.
One might have thought a change in trainers from Roger Mayweather to Floyd Sr. might have hurt. Aside from forgetting his mouthpiece before a round, there were no issues.
Floyd now has a choice of challengers set for September 14th in Vegas with the prospect of a huge fight with Canelo Alvarez coming May 2014.
Mares takes out friend De Leon
The best fight of the PPV main card was the penultimate fight of the night which featured two friends with the same manager fighting. Abner Mares knocked out Ponce De Leon in the 9th round. Arguably, Mares is the best 126 pound fighter out there outside of Nonito Donaire (a fight that was nixed due to a stall in negotiations) or Guillermo Rigondeaux (who defeated Donaire in March).
UFC fighters should look at these fighters as they put aside their friendship to meet.
Attendance and gate
According to Dan Rafael of ESPN, attendance was a sellout at 15,880 fans and a gate of $9.9 million (via Kevin Iole). The numbers are slightly better than Mayweather’s September 2011 against Victor Ortiz (13,364/$9M).
Promotion of the Fight
This was the first fight Mayweather has had under his deal with Showtime and it appeared that he was on his best behavior to show CBS/Showtime executives he was worth the money.
The only real controversial beef was Ruben Guererro’s tirade over Floyd Mayweather and Sr.’s response. Aside from this flare-up, there was a generated “green screen” trash talk sessions between the two fighters early on but nothing as the fight grew closer.
Mayweather made an appearance during CBS’ Final Four to start the ball rolling for the fight. Showtime had a four part All Access show which was widely available online for those not subscribers of Showtime. CBS also featured Mayweather in a 1 hour special the Saturday before the fight. That documentary did poorly as it was last in its timeslot among network shows.
Aside from the “May Day” commercials, the Mayweather fight was even promoted on room keys and “Do Not Disturb” signs in the MGM Grand.
The Audience Network showed the Mosley-Mayweather fight and the Aydin-Guerrero fight the preceding the weigh-ins to get fans ready for Saturday.
Mayweather will make $32 million from Saturday’s fight while Roberto Guerrero will make $3 million. The $32 million reported to the Nevada State Athletic Commission does not include the ancillary money Mayweather (and possibly Guerrero to a lesser extent) will make from PPV buys, closed circuit revenues, etc.
O’Reilly Auto Parts and Corona were the two key sponsors for the fight. O’Reilly did promotions within its stores and Corona provided promos in-stores where Corona was sold. I don’t believe that there were discounts on the PPV as is customary where Tecate promotes events.
ATT, Valvoline and Star Trek’s “Into Darkness” were sponsors on the mat and above the ring.
As is tradition, Mayweather did not wear any sponsors on his trunks for his fight although he did have Reebok ring shoes. He also wore Reebok gear during the Showtime All Access show.
Roberto Guerrero had multiple sponsors on including Shoe Palace which was the most visible of sponsors during the All Access show. He also had Brabble.com on the front of his shorts as well – a social media video sharing site. He also wore a “God is Great” shirt to the ring which had sponsor California Superstores on the back.
Odds and ends
In addition to PPV and closed circuit, the fight was shown in theaters via NCM Fathom which is the same company the UFC partners with to show its fights in movie theaters.
I was impressed with Paulie Maglignaggi’s television analysis. I haven’t seen him before and thought he brought more info than most experts. Former MMA announcer Mauro Ranallo did an impressive job on the call too. During the survey of stars in the crowd, Ranallo called Neil Patrick Harris’ character on How I Met Your Mother (sidenote: can that guy meet his wife already to end the series) Barry Stinson instead of Barney Stinson. Ranallo actually corrected himself later in the broadcast. I think since CBS is paying for it, might want to get the character names right.
How did the promotion of the fight compare with an HBO promotion? The traditional all access shoulder programming was distributed freely online (i.e., if you looked for it you could legally see it for free) as opposed to the multiple showings of HBO’s 24/7 on CNN and other Time Warner networks. The production was different and I thought the announcing team overall was better than HBO’s usual cast.
Dan Rafael and Kevin Iole (via Bad Left Hook) are both reporting that the PPV buys may be under a million which would be considered a disappointment considering its the first Mayweather fight in a year. Perhaps the lack of buzz, the lack of name-worthy opponent and Mayweather’s lack of brashness attributed to poor PPV buys. Of course, the practical aspect of a $70 PPV to watch just one fight probably contributed to the poor sales. We will see what this means for the future of what Sh
May 3, 2013
The Sports Business Journal ran an article on Floyd Mayweather’s new promotional partner, Showtime, in lieu of his upcoming fight Saturday. The article addressed how CBS has boosted the promotion of his upcoming fight.
The allure of expanding the reach through promotion of his fights on the CBS network may have enticed Mayweather to switch from HBO to Showtime. Mayweather made an appearance during The Final Four to promote Saturday’s fight. Last Saturday in prime time, the network ran a one hour documentary dedicated to the fighter featuring many notable names including Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson praising Mayweather.
CBS has utilized its network, radio, interactive and outdoor divisions to promote the fight. While the Mayweather camp had a profitable relationship with Showtime, it thought that Mayweather’s fights could have been marketed to a broader audience.
The article also stated that Corona and O’Reilly’s Auto Parts were heavily promoting the fight with point of sale promotions and in-store promotions. In addition, the fight can be seen in movie theaters.
The LA Times’ Larry Pugmire tweeted that Mayweather’s opponent, Robert Guerrero will make $3 million for fighting Saturday. In comparison Victor Ortiz, Mayweather’s last opponent made $2 million. No word on how much Mayweather for this fight although it was reported he made upwards of $40 million for the Ortiz fight.
Its an understatement to write that Mayweather boxing promotions are distinctly different from how the UFC promotes its fighters. Mayweather’s success has allowed him the opportunity to go into business for himself. He partners with Golden Boy Promotions but he fronts a lot of the marketing dollars in order to receive a lot on the back end via multiple revenue streams (i.e., PPV, closed circuit, movie theatres showing the fight, gate, foreign sales for his fights and sponsorship). The NY Times had a great article detailing this business model prior to his fight with Victor Ortiz.
Mayweather’s documentary on CBS Saturday night ranked the lowest for the 8-9pm network time slot with a 1.73M viewer average. Manny Pacquiao jumped from HBO to Showtime for one fight against Shane Mosley and the network showed its All Access programming on the network. For this fight, CBS has not shown the show but it has been available freely online.
Yet, the the marketing for the event may be viewed by more eyes due to the network influence. Will that turn into PPV buys and attendance? We will see Saturday night.
April 26, 2013
The Sports Business Journal this week had an article on the emergence of boxing at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York. The steady stream of fights is a result of a 3 year deal with Golden Boy Promotions which is using the new venue as a home base on the East Coast.
So far, Golden Boy has had two events at the Barclay’s Center. In October, Devon Alexander defeated Randall Bailey. This past March, Bernard Hopkins defeated Tavoris Cloud.
In the October 2012 event, Golden Boy gave away 1,000 tickets to anyone that showed up at the Barclays Center that had a Brooklyn address on their ID. Despite the comps, it sold 9,636 tickets for a gate of $750,000. The Hopkins fight garnered a gate of $611,974 from 9,377 tickets sold according to the SBJ article.
Its third fight at the Barclay’s Center is this Saturday with Brooklyn’s Zab Judah fighting Danny Garcia.
The hope for both Golden Boy and the Barclays Center is that the fights will condition fans to expect fights at the venue, which in turn will lead to consistent attendance. However, this has been met with mixed reviews as the article quotes Kathy Duva, the CEO of Main Events (you may also recall see filed a Declaration on behalf of Bellator in the Eddie Alvarez preliminary injunction hearing) as she has attempted to hold events at the Prudential Center in New Jersey and determined that “two or three times a year (for events) is overdoing it.”
But, Golden Boy’s strategy continues and its done through the inclusion of local fighters on its undercards and having main event fighters make appearances. Notably, having fighters sit courtside at NBA Brooklyn Nets games and having the Barclays Center show them and flash a reminder on its scoreboard of their upcoming fights. The Nets have also given the fighters its NBA gear to wear as a cross-promotion of products.
Showtime and Barclays collaborated on a marketing strategy to promote its boxing at the venue — something that does not usually happen. As a result, the parties have compiled a database from the initial events and discovered approximately 1,100 people have purchased tickets to the two events. It also determined that 70 percent of those were male with an average age of almost 43. Also 46 percent were married.
In the competition for market share of the boxing world between Golden Boy and Top Rank, it will be interesting to see how the battle for New York shapes up. Top Rank has promoted shows in New York although its business model focuses on the market (promotion and content) rather than the building according to Top Rank head Todd DuBoef. Its most recent event, Donaire-Rigondeaux from Radio City Music Hall sold out (5,600 seats) and had a gate of about $400,000.
But, the Barclay’s Center-Golden Boy business partnership is unique from the perspective that the Brooklyn building is new and likely wants to keep occupied. Golden Boy would like to set a footprint in the market and promote its known fighters while cultivating prospects. Obtaining information on the ticket purchasers is valuable to gauge the audience that it is consuming its product. Like other professional leagues, obtaining this data helps with targeting marketing campaigns and advertisers. One would obvious think that the overarching need is for promotion and quality cards to keep fans coming back for more. Does this strategy foreclose other regions of the country where an appearance could receive a bigger attendance due to the novelty of the event? It also appears that quarterly fights at the venue may place consumer fatigue (as Kathy Duva indicated) on boxing fans unless there are compelling match-ups on the cards.
April 9, 2013
The Sports Business Journal (subscription required) reports that Fox Sports and Golden Boy Promotions have struck a deal for boxing to be on the new Fox Sports 1 Network. The deal goes through 2015 with an option for 2016.
Although no official numbers were divulged, it is believed the rights fees to be $100,000 per show. FS1 will carry a Monday night boxing series with 24 episodes per year. The deal also includes 24 shows on Fox Deportes to be held Saturday nights from Mexico.
Golden Boy signed a multiyear deal reported to be in the six figure range with Fox Sports Media Group last year in which the promotion had 12 shows divided between Fuel TV and Fox Sports Net.
Golden Boy has already secured Corona as lead sponsor for the series.
The move shows Fox’s commitment to combat sports as it has the UFC as one of its anchors to the new FS1. The addition of boxing means more combat sports content for viewers. This deal is much better than Golden Boy’s previous situation as the Fox Sports Media deal had GBP’s shows on at odd times and on delay on Fox’s regional sports networks. In this deal, its believed that there would be consistent times for the shows.
March 27, 2013
Bad Left Hook reports that the Floyd Mayweather-Roberto Guerrero fight on Cinco de Mayo weekend will be aired in theatres. Fathom Events, the same company that works with the UFC in theatre events, will be working with Golden Boy to put the fight in this weekend.
After a year off, Floyd Mayweather returns to the ring and Golden Boy will take advantage of this by introducing an additional revenue stream: movie theaters.
The move makes sense considering the hefty price to pay for one fight. Based on the trend, it’s likely that Mayweather-Guerrero will be $69.99 (in HD) for most viewers. Tickets for the movie theatre will be $18.00 a piece. With the rising prices of PPV, it will be interesting to see how many people will take advantage of this option.
March 20, 2013
Yahoo! Sports reports that HBO has ended its relationship with Golden Boy Promotions. The decision to leave the highest-rated boxing network will ignite a competition with rival Showtime.
Golden Boy fighters such as Bernard Hopkins, Adrien Broner and Andre Berto will likely move to Showtime. Former HBO fighters Danny Garcia, Amir Khan and Canelo Alvarez are already on Showtime.
The move was made in part to continued friction between the companies. Despite an exodus of Golden Boy fighters, Nonito Donaire, Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao will likely stay with HBO.
Although not under contract with Golden Boy, Floyd Mayweather announced a contract with Showtime this past February.
The decision to break ties means that HBO will be the de facto network for Top Rank while Showtime will house Golden Boy fighters. Although HBO may feel the sting of losing the likes of Broner and Berto, it still has Donaire (who has a big fight in April), Bradley (who had the fight of the year while we watched GSP-Diaz) and Pacquiao. The good news is that this should bring out better fights on the network. The bad news is that we may not see cross-promotion fights due to the fact that there will be an impasse on which network would benefit.