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HBO Puts Marketing Muscle Behind Next '24/7' Fight Series

3/29/2009 2:00 AM Eastern

HBO hopes a multiplatform marketing and promotional campaign for a preview series leading up to its May 2 Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton pay-per-view boxing event will attract younger viewers to the sport.

HBO's push for its four-part Pacquiao/Hatton 24/7 series will include a Web-based sweepstakes offering a behind-scenes fight experience at the venue, HBO senior vice president of sports operations Mark Taffet said.

HBO wants the series, trailing Pacquaio and Hatton as they train for their mega PPV fight, to help draw 18-to-49-year-old males to a sport whose male median viewing age skews over 35.

Pacquiao/Hatton 24/7 marks the fifth installment in the series, which debuted in 2006 ahead of an Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather bout. The first four installments have averaged 2.5 million viewers, according to HBO.

“The goal of 24/7 is not only to provide an all access look at the sport's biggest events, but also to reach out to the next generation of boxing fans and to engage them with a compelling program which speaks their language,” Taffet said.

The sweepstakes grand prize is a trip to Las Vegas for the three days leading up to the fight. The sweepstakes runs from March 30 through April 22 on HBO.com.

The winner and a guest will be filmed as they attend fight activities such as the weigh in and the pre-fight party, and attend the live event. A daily video journal will be posted on Facebook and HBO's YouTube site, according to Taffet. The winner also can have his or her photo on HBO.com.

HBO will back the sweepstakes with media buys on sports outlets including ESPN.com, Foxsports.com and Yahoo.com. It'll place postcards in college campuses, sports bars, bowling alleys, and boxing and sports gyms in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Miami.

For 24/7, HBO will have a “significant” presence on Facebook, HBO's YouTube page and HBO.com. Ads will run on ESPN.com, CBS SportsLine, Fox Sports.com, USAToday.com and Yahoo.com.

Ads also will run on ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, Versus, Fox Sports Net, YES Network and Spike TV, and in mixed-martial-arts-related programming and magazines and sports radio stations in the top 11 markets.

September