Mayweather vs Pacquiao is not just about boxing rivalry, but also about hype and popularity. Image seem to matter more than skills at this early stage, and the way to go about is through social media campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, CNN reported.
American Floyd Mayweather and Filipino Manny Pacquiao, both the biggest stars in boxing, have formally announced their long-awaited match amid euphoria and fanfare in a Los Angeles press conference on Wednesday.
Social media plays a huge role in building up hype and excitement among boxing fans all over the world.
Boxing promoter Nisse Sauerland, CEO of Team Sauerland, says, “Nowadays you have to be on social media to launch the fight and to build hype.”
“It couldn’t be done without it.”
Mayweather (47-0, 26 knockouts) has positioned himself as “The Money Man,” a marketing gimmick that has worked for him.
He boasts 9.2 million likes on Facebook, 5.65 million followers on Twitter, and almost 5 million followers on Instagram, definitely ahead of Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 knockouts), who have 6.3 million likes on Facebook, 1.7 million on Twitter and 647,000 on Instagram.
In boxing, marketing skills are needed too to boost one’s popularity, which brings to mind product endorsements.
“If you have five million Twitter followers it does give you power in negotiation, because it reflects popularity,” said Sauerland. “But Mayweather needs Pacquiao too; you need a storyline to make a good fight … (Pacquiao) is the route to make it the biggest purse in history.”
Social media’s role in increasing one’s popularity cannot be undermined, as Sauerland believes.
“Every fighter nowadays should be on social media, and if they’re not, then they’re not doing a good enough job at promoting themselves,” he says. “It doesn’t matter who you are, whether you’re a club fighter or a superstar.”
In an interview with ESPN, Mayweather stressed how excited he is that Mayweather vs Pacquiao is finally happening.
“Without everyone together, we couldn’t make this fight happen, so I have to be thankful we came together to give the world the fight they want to see, Mayweather-Pacquiao,” he said. “May 2 is when the world stops to tune in to Mayweather-Pacquiao, the biggest fight in boxing history.”