Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor are both fighters with envy-inspiring careers. What have they to do with marketing you ask? These fighters are what they are today not just because of their exquisite fighting skills but also their uncanny ability to market themselves.
They very likely did a better job of it than any team of professional publicists could have ever managed. If you are thirsty to learn secrets of self-promotion and branding, checking out and learning from their stories should be on the top of your list.
Why The Marketing World Talks About Floyd Mayweather?
Floyd Mayweather has a defeat-free professional career with a 49-0 record winning six world championships in five weight divisions. He defeated boxing legends like Sugar Shane Mosley and Oscar De La Hoya. In 2014, his name shone on the top of the list of the highest-paid athletes for earning $105 million from only two fights.
He has not only proved to be an exceptionally skillful boxer but an even sharper businessman and marketer outside the ring. After buying out his contract from Top Rank for approximately $750 thousand, Mayweather launched his promotion company. Today, the company is the highest ranking and highest earning promotional company in sports in general.
He managed to leverage his position as a premier fighter to put in place an incredibly lucrative business model where he scheduled, promoted and won his own fights. In a nutshell, Mayweather approached boxing as an entertainment business that is more than anything else fueled by excitement, conflict and the secret desire to see the champion fall.
Why The Marketing World Talks About Conor McGregor?
At the moment, Conor McGregor, a renowned expert in mixed martial arts from Ireland, is the biggest star in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. McGregor kickstarted his MMA career in 2008 when he turned 20.
Among the highlights of his career is an impressive streak of thirteen victories in 2011. He also became the first Irish MMA fighter in history to hold a CWFC Lightweight and Featherweight titles in 3 different divisions simultaneously, and he is only the 2nd Irish fighter ever to fight in UFC. In addition to all this, he is a digital marketing heavyweight, an expert at leveraging the reach and influence of strong social media presence:
Instagram: 11.5 million followers
Twitter: 3.78 million followers
Facebook: 5.3 million page likes
Such success is not built simply on being good at what you do; it is also about knowing how to market yourself within the context of your work.
What They Have in Common
First and foremost, they both have achieved turning themselves into icons who reach way beyond the world of boxing. Many, in fact, speculate that Conor stole Floyd’s approach to creating his brand and image.
In any case, both fighters embraced the entertainment factor of the boxing industry and adopted their lavish over-the-top personas in grand fashion.
Lessons To Be Learned
The secret of success behind both fighters is solid confidence; confidence in themselves, their choices and actions. The thing about confidence is that it is addictive, contagious and has explosive powers in the world of competition.
McGregor knows he is good and he is not afraid to publically announce that he knows he is the best in his level and category and does not feel conflicted about rubbing that in his opponent’s faces. Likewise, Mayweather, with his ultra-cocky persona, was not afraid to admit that he is the best and that he is fighting for the money as well as legacy. He later gave himself a nickname ‘Money’ and launched his own exceptionally lavish lifestyle brand ‘The Money Team.’
What is there to learn?
Not being afraid to show that you are the best at what you do is attractive. No matter what industry and niche, confidence works everywhere. Be confident in selling yourself, if you do not believe in yourself and your product why should anybody else make that leap of faith.
Get Results to Back You Up
However, if you do not convert your confidence into tangible results, your image will quickly crumble into boastful arrogance. There are way too many brands out there trying to be something they are not.
Although Conor and Floyd spend a good portion of their time boasting and intimidating their opponents in all ways possible, they live up to the expectations they built. They do not hide the hard work they put into being the best or try to trick us into thinking they were born great.
McGregor says: “There’s no talent here, this is hard work. This is an obsession. Talent does not exist, we are all equal as human beings. You could be anyone if you put in the time. You will reach the top, and that is that. I am not talented, I am obsessed.”
What is there to learn?
Be confident but honest about what you can do. Big claims come with big expectations and responsibility. And if you are not quite the best yet, there is no reason to stop. As McGregor said, there is no talent just hard work, meaning you can make your brand work if you are obsessed enough to take it to the top.
Create a Brand and Stick to It
Floyd Mayweather is in-your-face and over-the-top demonstrating to the world he is meant to be more than a fighter, but a full-blown celebrity. He is the spotlight of public attention way more often than his counterparts, that is no accident. Checking out his social media accounts you will see him flaunting his expensive, lavish lifestyle all over the place. He masterfully adopted a confident bad boy persona born to entertain the world of boxing.
Conor, although from a different generation of fighters is not lagging behind. His brand is that of a skilled, confident fighter with a similarly lavish glamorous lifestyle. Everything including his tattoos, signature high-fashion look as well as his communication style and composure during interviews contribute to his brand.
What is There to Learn?
They created the brand, the image and continued sticking to it. People who love them and follow them know what they are going to get. One of the biggest errors in branding is trying to please everyone. That can only result in mediocrity. Create an image for you or your business and stick to it, be consistent. The important thing is to build a strong positive that speaks to your target market.
Build The Right Team
Conor McGregor is the first to admit he is not the only one responsible for his success and never fails to remind the public that he has the best team behind him. He has a dedicated team of trainers and agents who are there to back him up and ensure that the buzz is about him more than his opponents.
What is there to learn?
Having the right kind your people dedicated to crafting your image is imperative to creating a successful brand. Surround yourself with honest, skilled people and build a support network that will not let your brand fall.
Undoubtedly, this marketing lesson comes from the least expected sources. However, it is a case in point of how the right marketing strategy can bring any niche into the center of attention. These two fighters showed the marketing world that if you understand your brand, diligently work on mastering your craft, outrun the competition through learning and growth, the only destiny awaiting you is becoming the “unbeatable one.”