Last week ended with the UFC being put into a tizzy with Ronda Rousey’s surprising loss to boxer Holly Holm in Melbourne, Australia, and this past week ended with boxing gaining even more traditional steam with a growing Latino ambassador, Canelo Alvarez taking control of the always desirable middleweight division with a win over Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas.
There is no doubt that for most brands in the United States, one of the biggest demographics to tackle is the Latino market. Especially in sports and entertainment, Latinos are engaged, passionate and loyal followers, and the demo continues to grow with each passing day. However the audience can remain very elusive and quite segmented, and often times things literally get lost in the translation by Anglo brands or marketers trying to blanket the demo without understanding the nuance. However nothing can be unifying for both audiences like the big fight, and somewhere in 2016, maybe after two big names with growing followings in Canelo and Gennady Golovkin have one more tune-up (how about around Cinco de Mayo as has been rumored for each?).
For brands looking to engage around the run-up to a big event and looking to engage with a Latino community that loves boxing and a Mexican audience that will grow around their champion who will crossover to the mainstream, Canelo may be gold waiting to happen. His resume is loaded with high level opponents, and there is no reason to believe he will back down from this one. He is engaging, has a solid backstory and is a fun and intriguing action packed fighter at a weight class which casual fans and even millennials can appeal to. He is relatively unencumbered of controversy, and his team may point to a 10 month buildup to fight Triple G on Mexican Independence Day weekend in September, replete with all the hype and hope HBO can deliver in driving interest toward a pay per view.
Brands like Budweiser, Ford, Pepsi, and Gillette, who have been growing their engagement in the Latino audience in the United States, can now have a platform to expand upon for an entire year, and online content providers like MiTú, TuVisión and Ora TV, can fill a Latino void with relevant content, to say nothing of the fastest-growing broadcast platforms in the Unites States, Telemundo and Univision. That does not also include the hype of traditional broadcast, which will also see the money train in the big fight, just like they did for Pacquaio-Mayweather, a rematch which seems to now be on the back burner, and given the lack of action, could be surpassed by the latest “it” matchup, one which can appeal even more to a key and growing demo for all in the States.
Can Canelo deliver the goods for a Latino audience and can he crossover to lift boxing with the big fight against Golovkin? Will brands join in with deeper promotions and activation and will new brands craving to access the Latino market see this as the way in, complementing the work many are already doing with soccer and baseball?
They are all intriguing questions and trends to watch as the year comes to a close and 2016 begins, but suddenly two boxing stories, one male, one female, have become buzz and brandworthy in just a week where they were not before.
Even with all the talk of VR, eGaming and Daily Fantasy, nothing draws like the hype around the big fight, especially with engaging personalities and more importantly, engaging demos taking notice.