The fight between the two best fighters of their generation, the fight that took close to a decade in the making, the one everyone craved and wanted to see finally did happen.
And oh boy, what a spectacle it was.
Regardless of whether you an avid boxing fan or you believe that there is a better way to settle differences and spread the love than inside the ring, you have to give credit to Mayweather and Pacquiao for making the fight the centrepiece of the world for at least an hour.
The Mayweather and Pacquiao fight captured the imagination of the world and for days leading to the match was the headline for most media companies and as it was the conversation in buses, canteens and pubs. While some were disappointed after the match and called it boring due to the technical nature of the fight itself instead of the Hollywood all action style many hoped to see, the fight was considered a huge success.
And if you sift through the jabs, pot-shots and other technical boxing stuff you will see a number of content marketing lessons to be learned from these boxers and their promoters. If you think content marketing and boxing have nothing in common, think again.
Floyd Mayweather in one of his earlier fights, a TV reporter said to him, “You showboated a little bit, that’s part of your thing. Obviously, it rankled the crowd a little bit. They weren’t thrilled with that.”
Mayweather said, “That’s what sells tickets. And I’m here to sell tickets. I’m a performer. That’s what I do. I sell myself.” Obviously, that’s exactly what he ended up doing in legendary fashion.
Still not convinced?
Here are 5 content marketing cues from the greatest pound for pound boxer.
Have a storyline for your content marketing campaign
As absurd as it sounds, this fight was billed as the fight between good and evil. Pacman was cast as the good, benevolent and humble guy while Mayweather was the arrogant brash pantomime villain who only cares about money. Even during the introductions as the boxers squared to fight, the crowd was firmly behind Pacquiao, as he got the roaring cheers from the crowd in attendance whenever he was shown on the big screen. Mayweather was resoundingly booed whenever the camera switched to him.
When you do a content marketing campaign, it must have a theme or storyline. A theme helps keep your content marketing efforts in check and as well provide a reason for you to measure success. DHL Africa came up with a wonderful theme of showing the beautiful side of Africa that most had never seen as part of their Africa as One Campaign . The results were astounding you too can do the same.
“It’s about having personality…it’s not about being the bad guy, it’s about entertaining people.” – Floyd Mayweather
Mayweather clearly understands that one has to be the entertainer to be successful in boxing or at least draw the crowds and earn the kind of money he does. Whilst some might say he fighting style is boring few will argue about the entertainment value of his antics and theatrics outside the ring.
Brands serve their customers best when they are telling engaging stories. This is the basis for successful content marketing.
A content marketer needs to understand this and put it into action. DHL Africa have taken this concept like duck to water and taken their engagement levels to a whole new stratosphere. Red Bull an energy drink company has more than 600 million views on YouTube shows how to do this right. Coca-Cola changed their strategy from creative excellence to content excellence.
“I’m the best at talking trash and I’m also the best at going out there and backing it up,” “I don’t feel that no fighter has the mental or physical agility to match Floyd Mayweather.”
Boxing is as much a physical game as it is a mental one. Mayweather is the master of mind games and before a fight he will do anything to shake the his opponent’s confidence and thus have a mental advantage.
Before the fight, the promoters for Manny Pacquiao did not want Floyd around Manny or anywhere where he could shake his confidence.
A single content marketing campaign can make or break a company’s reputation especially for companies, think Starbucks and its failed attempt to lead conversation around racism with its race together campaign.
To win with content marketing there is need to combine verified research, creativity and exhibit confidence and ingenuity.
Be Daring and chart new paths
“Bob arum is Manny Pacquiao’s boss, Floyd Mayweather is his own boss.”
Mayweather used to work with Bob Arum as his boss under Top Rank Promotions but decided to take his career in a new direction by paying out $750,000 to buy his contract and forming Mayweather Promotions. What is significant is his paychecks were around 3 million per fight during that time and paying out $750,000 seemed a lot of money. This move turned him into the highest paid athlete.
Likewise, Jonathan Mildenhall, Coca Cola’s VP Global Advertising Strategy and Creative Excellence, woke up one day and decided that Coke’s strategy needed to change from creative excellence to content excellence. A bold and daring move. The strategy hinges on creating compelling content that is highly contagious and shareable, reducing dependence on TV ads.
Choosing content marketing over advertising is a daring move with so many rewards.
In Boxing just like in any sport, there are belts, medals or even trophies that are given to the champion to show his dominance. In winning the ‘fight of the century’, Floyd Mayweather became the unified WBC, WBA and WBO welterweight champion and was given all belts. Such belts show tremendous dominance over his rivals.
Such social proof can be used in content marketing, where testimonials, endorsements, good web design add credibility to positioning yourself as an expert in your field. Lesson here is always put your best foot forward and position yourself as the greatest in your field.
Are you ready to be a Content Marketing Champion
Boxing requires high levels of skill and dexterity. Ingenuity and creativity are paramount to the effectiveness of your campaign. Successful content marketing requires a high level of experimentation and trying new things. Don’t be afraid of failing.
I hope you enjoyed the post, I look forward to hearing your comments about the fight and its relevance to content marketing. Do you think it was a fair comparison or I stretched it a bit too far.