The highest grossing event in the history of boxing and MMA will hit Las Vegas on August 26th. Ticket sales, pay-per-view buys and sponsorship revenue will contribute to the fighters’ bottomless pockets. But aside from the $100m both sides are rumoured to be getting paid- who is willing to fund that $10m sponsorship fee?
At 40 years old, US boxer Floyd `Money` Mayweather hasn’t lost a single fight, and he plans to hold his reign against Irishman Conor McGregor, 29, at the T-Mobile Arena next month.
Despite this being McGregor’s first professional boxing match, the two-weight UFC champion will make around $74m (£58m), with Mayweather raking in a handsome $100, or £77m1.
Both men have signed a confidentiality agreement restricting them from revealing all financial details publicly, but rumour has it $100m (£78.5m) could be earned by each2.
The fight in its entirety is thought to be worth around $650m (£500m). Ouch!
The fight, which is part of a four city press tour, has a lot to offer the highest bidder in terms of exposure. Sponsors should be willing to dish out around $10m (£7.7million) to get their name on the McGregor vs. Mayweather gig3.
But according to ESPN4, the lucky sponsor will get a lot for their dollar. The US broadcasting station reports: “The sponsoring company would get its logo at the center of the ring at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.
“It will get its branding on the ring girls, on two of the ropes and in the two non-fighter corners of the ring.
“The deal also includes sponsorship of the first minute of every round on the broadcast and $500,000 in tickets”.
The eagerly awaited match is being promoted by Mayweather Promotions and distributed by Showtime Boxing. The UFC is not an official promoter or distributor of the fight, not surprising considering Conor is moving over to The Dark Side of combat sports.
McGregor is free to make his own sponsorship deal, with no ties to UFC’s sole sponsor Reebok or any other apparel brand.
His manager Audie Attar told Ariel Halwani during a recent edition of The MMA Hour that the Irishman isn’t ruling out competitors like Nike. He said: “There are a lot of open categories that we’ve been negotiating with brands.
“We’ll see how it all plays out.”5
This is an exciting business opportunity for Conor and his sponsor, considering Reebok has been the only brand he could adorn in the cage until now. According to High Snobiety, sponsoring Conor will allow Nike and similar brands the chance to bring combat sports to the lifestyle sector.
Meanwhile Mayweather usually heavily promotes his clothing brand TMT, short for The Money Team, but as yet there is no indication that a major brand is looking to back him.
1 The Mirror, How Much Will Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor Earn, June 2017
2 Independent, Conor McGregor Signs Floyd Mayweather Fight Contract, May 2017
3 Metro, Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather press world tour to touch down in London, June 2017
4 Bleacher Report, Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor Sponsor Asking Price Reportedly $10m, June 2017
5 MMA Fighting, Manager: Conor McGregor Not Tied to Reebok… June 2017