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Marketing

It’s Showtime for Pacquiao-Mosley

5/02/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

Showtime will throw a heavy multiplatform
marketing punch into its May 7 Manny Pacquiao-Shane
Mosley pay-per-view boxing match, with an assist from
corporate sibling CBS.

The highlight of Showtime’s promotional effort for the World
Boxing Organization welterweight title fight: two episode airings
of preview series Fight Camp 360 on CBS a week before the
event, according to Showtime officials.

“We have tremendous plans and assets in place and the
community has really been receptive,” Showtime Sports executive
vice president and general manager Ken Hershman
said. “We’re really pleased with how it’s going.”

Hershman said the fight, in which champion Pacquiao
will defend his title, would receive significant exposure on
CBS during the lead-up weekend. The broadcast network was
scheduled to run the third Pacquiao-Mosley episode of Fight
Camp 360
this past Saturday (April 30) in primetime. In addition,
the broadcast network will air the final episode of the series
on the afternoon of the fight.

CBS also aired the premiere episode of Fight Camp 360 on
April 2, leading up to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four,
although Hershman said the network is still evaluating ratings
for that airing.

“Having CBS promote the fight is terrific and additive in
building awareness for the fight,” Hershman said. “The key to
any PPV fi ght is making sure people knew when it was on. Putting
Fight Camp 360 on in primetime is another way to educate
people about the fight.”

In addition, Showtime will also implement a heavy radio
push on all the CBS Radio-owned news, sports and music
stations. Online, CBSSports.com will treat this as a “tier-one
event,” with heavy online promotion in the week leading up
to the fight, Hershman said.

Showtime will also promote heavily on social media outlets
like Facebook and Twitter, in coordination with CBS, the
MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas (the fight venue) and
Top Rank, Pacquiao’s promoter, in an effort to appeal to younger
audiences.

A main component of the campaign, though, will be a significant amount of traditional cross-channel spots for the fight
that will run across Showtime’s cable and satellite distributors,
said Hershman.

Overall, Hershman said the marketing and promotional
opportunities for PPV boxing events have expanded tremendously
since the network’s last major PPV event, a 2005 bout
between Diego Corrales and José Luis Castillo.

“There are all these new great ways to reach out and talk to
people,” he said. “But we still believe that the principal way that
we sell this is through the traditional cross-channel spots, as
well as through our Internet buy. It’s just a more exciting way
of reaching out to people.”

Hershman wouldn’t predict how well the fight would perform,
but said there is a lot of buzz surrounding the event. In
each of the last three years, Pacquiao has taken part in one
fight that garnered 1 million pay-per-view buys — all of which
were distributed by Showtime archrival HBO.

His last bout, a Nov. 13 matchup against Antonio Margarito,
generated 1.15 million PPV buys — second only to Mosley’s
May 1 bout against Floyd Mayweather, which drew 1.4 million
buys.

Hershman did say that he hopes to work with Pacquiao and
his promoter, Bob Arum, on future PPV events. He would not
comment on reports that Pacquiao is already looking at an
October rubber match fight against Juan Manuel Marquez.
The two fighters fought to a draw in their 2004 encounter,
while Pacquiao won a controversial split decision in the
2008 rematch.

“We’re trying to get through May 7, and that’s our entire focus
right now,” Hershman said. “We’ll evaluate the results to
make sure we’re better the next time out if and when any future
fight conversations with Pacquiao happen.”

September