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Boxing / MMA / Sponsorships

Title Sponsorship For Mayweather-McGregor set at $10M

The logo that you see at the middle of the ring when Mayweather and McGregor walk to the center for round 1 of their mega-fight will cost $10 million.  According to Dan Rafael at ESPN, the ownership company of the UFC, WME-IMG, sent out proposals for the title sponsorship to possible corporate sponsors.  The asking price for the Mayweather-McGregor title sponsorship is nearly double that of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, which was sold to Tecate for $5.6 million.

From Rafael’s article:

The sponsoring company would get its logo at the center of the ring at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, its branding on ring girls, on two of the ropes and in the two nonfighter corners of the ring. The deal also includes sponsorship of the first minute of every round on the broadcast and $500,000 in tickets.

Relative to other ad deals, Goodyear will pay the Cavaliers $7 million to $10 million in each of the next three seasons to have its 2½-inch-by-2½-inch logo patch on the team’s jerseys.

It is important to note that the title sponsorships are only for the neutral corners.  Mayweather and McGregor can each sell their corner for $2.5 million.  A fighter’s sponsor would get $250,000 in tickets as well as sponsorship on the broadcast corner cam.

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Boxing / Ratings

Pacquiao-Horn Sets ESPN Boxing Rating Record

Saturday’s fight between Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn, known as “The Battle Of Brisbane,” is the highest-rated fight for cable television since 2010 and breaks the old record for most watched fight on ESPN that was set in the 1990s.  The average rating throughout the program was a 1.8 metered market rating.  On ESPN streaming digital platforms the fight averaged 78,000 viewers with 392,000 unique viewers over the course of the program.  ESPN Deportes attracted an average of 1,400 viewers with 7,800 unique viewers.

According to ESPN Media Zone the cities with the highest market ratings were Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Raleigh-Durham, New Orleans, and San Diego.

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GGG-Jacobs PPV Earns 130k-150k Buys

Gennady Golovkin’s close decision win over Daniel Jacobs garnered 130,000-150,000 PPV buys according to the LA Times’ Lance Pugmire.  The fight was up against the second round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday night.

Gennady Golovkin’s last PPV fight against Lemieux also drew 150,000 buys.  However, the fight against Jacobs at Madison Square Garden drew more revenue at the gate.

Daniel Jacobs was also able to bring GGG’s knockout streak to an end by taking the fight the distance.

Ringside Analysis:

Gennady Golovkin might have found his PPV ceiling.  The GGG-Jacobs matchup had a 24/7 episode along with the standard “Face Off” and “Road To” segments online.  The disappointing PPV totals will surely place him on the B-side of a fight against Canelo Alvarez.  Many people in the sport believe that a GGG-Alvarez fight is the best fight that can be made in the sport.

Canelo Alvarez has seen his PPV totals fall as of late with his most recent matchup against Liam Smith earning 250,000-300,000 buys after Alvarez knocked out Amir Khan in a fight earning 460,000 buys.  Alvarez’s next fight is against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on Cinco de Mayo weekend in Las Vegas, which will surely draw huge PPV numbers into any negotiations with Golovkin’s team.

There is a void in the boxing world that was created when Floyd Mayweather Jr. retired and no fighter has yet to be a draw on his own.  Canelo needed Miguel Cotto to reach the 900,000 PPV buys their fight totaled.  While Gennady Golovkin is better known to casual sports fans than Canelo Alvarez, the luster has worn off after two underwhelming performances.


GGG-Jacobs Sells PPV Program Streaming Online

The fight between Gennady Golovkin (GGG) and Daniel Jacobs was available to be purchased on TheRingTV.com.  Historically, Pay-Per-View (PPV) fights are only available through a premium cable provider, such as HBO or Showtime.  The price to watch was $64.99.

Ringside Analysis:

One of the hottest fighters in the boxing world is GGG of Kazakhstan and surely draws a large international market.  The bigger takeaway from this is that boxing promoters are having to find more ways to distribute content.  More and more people, especially in the younger demographics, are cutting the cord and don’t subscribe to the PPV providers.  This alternative still allows for those people to watch the single fight without paying a monthly cable fee as part of a contract and then the PPV product.

All of the major sports leagues are having to learn how to manage streaming content.  It may be an incovenience at this time but with so many distribution channels streaming is only going to be getting more common.  HBO and Showtime will have to figure out how they can include streaming into their distribution or if they change the value on their distribution knowing that they are going to miss out on revenue through streaming.

Boxing / MMA / UFC

Mayweather Says Fight With Conor McGregor Is “Getting Very, Very Close”

Former professional boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and current UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor have had ongoing discussions about a potential fight and rumors have started that the fight is almost agreed upon.  Mayweather told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith that the fight was getting “very, very close” to happening but then posted the above Instagram post this afternoon.

According to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto:

Sources confirmed to ESPN that McGregor arrived in Las Vegas on Monday evening. Mayweather lives and trains in Las Vegas.

Nevada State Athletic Commission chairman Anthony Marnell confirmed to ESPN that the commission has been made aware of active negotiations between the two camps, but said the fight still faces several challenges.

Conor McGregor flew to Las Vegas and posted this Instagram photo shortly after.  Floyd Mayweather lives and trains in Las Vegas.  McGregor is currently trying to make amends with the Nevada State Athletic Commission after a press conference that ended with McGregor throwing energy drinks into an audience, targeting Nate Diaz.  Conor McGregor has been granted a boxing license in the state of California but needs a license to fight in Nevada to fight Floyd McGregor.

UFC President Dana White said that an agreement between McGregor and Mayweather is not close to happening and would have to go through him first.

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Canelo Alvarez Will Fight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr On May 6th

Canelo Alvarez’s next fight will be against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on Cinco de Mayo weekend in Las Vegas on HBO PPV.  Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. was very critical of Canelo Alvarez for taking the fight against Amir Khan, calling it “an embarrassment to the middleweight division.”  A small feud developed and now they will settle it in the ring.  Canelo’s camp views this as a legacy fight instead of one for a title because of the names involved.

Canelo Alvarez is coming off a knockout win over Amir Khan and before that a big win over Miguel Cotto in the most recent big boxing PPV.  Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is the son of 6-time world champion Julio Cesar Chavez.  Chavez Jr fights draw a lot of attention because of his fighting abilities, his sometimes abrasive personality, and his name.  Having two Mexican men fight each other on Cinco de Mayo weekend will most likely lead to strong PPV sales.

Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya has said that Canelo Alvarez will fight Gennady Golovkin in 2017, which means that the Canelo-GGG matchup will take place late fall or early winter this year.

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Terence Crawford Will Defend Championship in Omaha This May

Terence Crawford will stay in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska for his next title defense.  The fight will air on HBO on May 20th.  Crawford’s last fight was a win over John Molina Jr in Omaha and has fought four of his last seven fights in his home town.

Promoter Bob Arum said that either Antonio Orozco or Felix Diaz will be his opponent.  Golden Boy, Orozco’s manager, turned down the fight in December.  Arum says that he would prefer to match Crawford up with Diaz, who is an Olympic Gold Medalist.

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Boxing / Ratings

Showtime Ratings Top HBO For Frampton-Santa Cruz Boxing Weekend

The Carl Frampton v Leo Santa Cruz rematch on Showtime beat HBO’s Boxing After Dark program on Saturday, January 28th.  Leo Santa Cruz’s majority devision win over Carl Frampton averaged 587,000 viewers compared to HBO’s fight featuring Miguel Berchelt stopping Francisco Vargas, which averaged 497,000 viewers.  It is also worth noting that Showtime has 30% fewer subscribers compared to HBO.

HBO,  typically the biggest and best broadcaster of boxing matches, has stiffer competition from CBS and Showtime.  From the LA Times:

HBO, confronting financial restraints, will respond with pay-per-views featuring Miguel Cotto vs. James Kirkland on Feb. 25, Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Jacobs on March 18, and Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez on May 6.

The networks’ competition is heated over the pursuit of U.S. television rights for the April 29 heavyweight title fight at London’s Wembley Stadium between International Boxing Federation champion Anthony Joshua and former long-reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko.

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Joshua-Klitschko To Take Place at 90,000 Seat Wembley Stadium

Anthony Joshua will be fighting Vladimir Klitschko on April 29th for the heavyweight championship at 90,000-seat Wembley Stadium.  If the event were to sell out it would be the highest attended boxing match in Britain since before World War II.

Carl Froch fought George Groves at Wembley Stadium in 2014 to a crowd of 80,000.  London Mayor Sadiq Khan has given permission for the stadium to allow for 10,000 more fans to watch the Joshua-Klitschko fight.

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Boxing / Sports Law

Golden Boy Lawsuit Against Al Haymon and PBC Dismissed by Federal Judge

Golden Boy Promotion’s $300 million lawsuit against Al Haymon and the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) for allegedly violating antitrust laws and the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act was dismissed by a federal judge.  The case, which began in May of 2015, ended when summary judgement was granted by the judge.  The lawsuit was centered on Al Haymon attempting to monopolize boxing and violating the Muhammad Ali Act.

The Muhammad Ali Act requires that fighter managers and promoters be separate individuals in an effort to keep fighters from being taken advantage of.  Al Haymon works as a manager for many fighters and the lawsuit alleges that Al Haymon is serving as the promoter and manager for fighters, using the local promoters as a way to circumvent the Ali Act.  However, no fighter had said that they were pressured or coerced into selecting a certain promoter.  In fact, Judge Walter cited Haymon’s willingness to work with many promoters as a reason for the case’s dismissal.

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