This weekend Floyd Mayweather will box Logan Paul in an exhibition fight that really has no business being contested. But the business of boxing – along with Mayweather and Paul – has never passed on a spectacle (or spectacular opportunity) for a huge pay day.
In the world of social media, Logan Paul is a superstar with 23-plus million followers on YouTube. Among the digirati, he has a considerable following. In the boxing world, Floyd Mayweather is considered one of the greatest, boasting a 50-0 professional record. Paul is a novice fighter with a record of 0-1.
Much to the chagrin of purists and casual fans, how does a 50-0 professional boxer and zero wins social media “influencer” even get in the ring? You can blame it on the power and reach of social media.
Between the two of them, Mayweather and Paul have a nearly 46 million Instagram followers. Throw in some pre-fight shenanigans – the stolen hat seen around the world – during a press conference and boom, the combination of mainstream and social media tickled an already perplexed, yet intrigued global audience.
And where there is an audience, brands will follow. So far TAAT, a tobacco-free and nicotine-free alternative to traditional cigarettes has a sponsorship deal with Mayweather. Sportsbook DraftKings and Smilz, one of the nation’s fastest growing CBD brands are also backing the fight, far from Budweiser, Modelo, and other household names that are typically aligned with boxing.
It is estimated that the pay per view fight will fetch approximately $200 million, giving Mayweather over $100 million and Paul $20 million. If these numbers are real, boxing, and sports as we know it will likely change forever, since less credentialed, but widely known hucksters with a large following can skip the line to sell an exhibition.
If this happens, brands need to be careful. Putting your product or service in front of millions is always attractive, but at what cost to your loyal customers that take issue with supporting such circus acts?