Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
30 August 2017
McGregor made the Mayweather fight popular
There were no world championships at stake. If Mayweather won (and he did), his storied, hall-of-fame boxing career ends at 50-0. If McGregor won? Whoa Nelly.
The buildup to the fight was a circus. Mayweather, who is 40, and McGregor, fighting in his first boxing match, parlayed their over-the-top personalities and brashness into tremendous excitement before the fight. They toured internationally together making stops in New York, Toronto, London and Los Angels. The spectacle saw the boxers getting into each other’s faces and pretending they were going to go at it on stage.
“But to those who bought (literally) the hype, reality didn’t matter – they simply believed it was possible.”
Finally, they fought. Mayweather won by TKO in the tenth round and got his 50th win. McGregor lost. In the end, each was gracious about the fight with the former taking home $100 million and the latter $30 million.
But this is only part of the story. The PPV generated 6.5 million views according to some reports (so the real number right now is a bit fuzzy). This shatters the previous boxing PPV record set by Manny Pacquiao and, you guessed it, Floyd Mayweather in the 2015 super fight that garnered around 4.6 million views.
Who did fans pay to watch? McGregor
While Mayweather had a lot to do with the PPV shattering number, McGregor’s brand is responsible for setting the new record. How else do you explain breaking the previous record of a fight with two of boxing’s best and most decorated fighters of all time?
McGregor had never stepped into a boxing ring in his life. Yet, because of his dominance in the UFC, people were hoping he would win. (To say Mayweather is disliked by most fans is an understatement.)
In reality, McGregor winning would be akin to a world-class marathoner taking on Usain Bolt in the 100-meter dash. But to those who bought (literally) the hype, reality didn’t matter – they simply believed it was possible.
After watching the fight, I am certain of four things: 1. If these two fought in a UFC cage, McGregor wins in 10 seconds. 2. If McGregor boxes twice before, the outcome may have been different. 3. Mayweather performed some very “unMayweather” things in the match that may or may not have contributed to going 10 rounds. He was aggressive instead of passive.
And finally, Connor McGregor’s personal brand development is at least as compelling as Mayweather’s, if not more. Like Mayweather, McGregor connects with fans in a way that gets them to believe he can do anything. Even beating a five-division world champion ranked by ESPN as the best pound for pound boxer in the past 25 years.
Once again, this shows the power of belief. Belief does not have to be based in any reality or buttressed with any fact or truth. It only has to be believed. And a great many of those 6.5 million PPV buyers believed that McGregor could win when they shelled out $100 to watch.
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