mayweather vs. pacquiao: the fight of the century

In 2015, Swanson Communications oversaw and managed PR efforts for one of the biggest sporting events in history— the Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight. The highly anticipated mega-bout between boxing’s reigning pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather and eight-division world champion and Filipino sensation Manny Pacquiao broke records for both pay-per-view buys and revenue, Nevada gate revenue and brought in more than $600 million in total. Our work helped make that happen.

Our team worked alongside Mayweather Promotions, Top Rank, SHOWTIME, HBO and MGM Grand throughout a seven-week promotion to produce the most lucrative sporting event of the year and the most commercially successful boxing match in history.

To kick off the promotion, Swanson Communications planned and executed one of the most ballyhooed press events in boxing history. Hosted at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live and accented by a 100-yard red carpet, the event was designed to highlight the magnitude of the fight and create a media frenzy that would help carry the excitement of the match-up throughout the promotion. Over 700 media members from a dozen countries around the world were in attendance including Entertainment Tonight, Jimmy Kimmel Live, E! News, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, LA Daily News, New Yorker, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, ESPN, CNN, FOX News, BBC, BET, Yahoo! Sports and TMZ Sports. ESPN’s coverage of the press conference aired live intermittently for more than three hours.

The tone set by the kick-off press event ensured the event’s “buzz” and coverage would continue until the bell rang on fight night. A stream of media activities such as satellite interviews, national feature story placements, media days for both fighters, photo shoots and “heard it said” pieces flooded media outlets leading up to the bout.

Fight week arrived and our team created and executed six fight week media events from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, engaging the more than one thousand media members covering the event. 

In addition, we helped coordinate ESPN’s massive fight week involvement, as the worldwide leader in sports held down studio locations throughout the Las Vegas strip and hosted some of their most popular shows from on location including SportsCenterSportsNation and radio shows hosted by Colin Cowherd and Stephen A. Smith. We also worked with ESPN and Mayweather Promotions to put on a special Thursday night edition of ESPN Friday Night Fights from Palms Casino Resort.

The reach of Mayweather vs. Pacquiao was unprecedented. Event coverage peaked on April 30th with 58 billion impressions. With roughly seven billion people in the world, that meant news of the fight could have reached every person in the world eight times that day. The combined ad value from only the top U.S. and international media hits was totaled at over $1.6 billion. From the day of the kick-off press conference through fight night there were an average of 2,300 articles written daily about the event.

After all the punches were thrown and dollars were tallied, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao was recognized by Google as one of the biggest moments of 2016 as it yielded over 216 million searches and will certainly be remembered as one of the most commercially successful events in sports history.