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Fight of the century attracts brands

News, 01 May 2015

LAS VEGAS: Tomorrow's "fight of the century" between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao has attracted the attention of brands keen to be part of an event that may generate upwards of $500m.

Mexican beer Tecate, which spent $5.6m to become the presenting sponsor and exclusive beer sponsor, has been running an extensive marketing campaign in Las Vegas, where the fight takes place, for most of the past month.

A significant part of that has been a digital approach, soliciting fans' view and offering chances to win tickets to the fight itself or pay-per-view packages as well as various items of memorabilia.

And during the actual boxing match, Tecate will be featured prominently in the centre ring, around the mat and throughout the arena.

The boxers themselves are set to be "human billboards", according to ESPN, which listed Nike, Cafe Puro and Air Asia among Pacquiao's trunk sponsors.

SB Nation also highlighted Pacquiao's use of social media to promote the various brands he is associated with, from confectionery brand Butterfinger Cups to Organo Gold coffee.

His approach stands in marked contrast to his rival: AdWeek noted that Mayweather does not have a single corporate sponsor, while Pacquaio is expected to make $5m from endorsements.

Mayweather has, however, been wearing Reebok shoes in training although he has no deal with the brand. A Reebok spokesman simply said that "Floyd has been a long-time friend of the brand and he has worn Reebok footwear in the ring for years".

Some brands have found a way to use the fight while avoiding naked commercialism. Pru Life UK, the insurance business, is bringing live viewing of the fight to areas of the Philippines still recovering from the devastation caused by 2013's supertyphoon Yolanda.

Pacquaio, a Congressman in the Philippines as well as a boxer, is a national hero and the Pru campaign has also featured a social element with fans uploading pictures of themselves wearing red bandannas bearing the slogan 'Go Manny'.

Data sourced from PR Newswire, ESPN, SB Nation, AdWeek, Campaign Asia-Pacific; additional content by Warc staff