Boxing and business – What can we learn from the Money Fight?

Whatever your thoughts about boxing, as a business owner there’s no denying there’s a lot to learn from the biggest fight in combat sports history.

Dubbed ‘The Money Fight’, the recent bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor Mcgregor has certainly given me some things to think about.

Months of promotional work culminating in 10 rounds in the ring, with each fighter bagging tens, if not hundreds of millions in prize money.

And of course, the fighters themselves are not the only ones to have profited hugely from the bout.

Many businesses and industries have profited or gained exposure from the fight. Most notably, bookies would have raked in eye watering sums from bets made on the fighters. A gamble which could have lost them millions had the fight gone the other way.

Promoting a business

Arguably, boxing has little to do with the fight itself, but is more about the promotional work and ‘hype’ building up to the event.

The sport is notorious (excuse the pun) for its ability to generate a huge amount of pre-event hype. This hype attracts not only boxing fans, but people from all walks of life.

The significance of this bout goes well beyond the typical ‘who’s the better boxer?’. This is about two widely popular and differing sporting disciplines going head to head in battle, to find, among other outcomes, which is the tougher sport.

This was the spin, the unique selling proposition the promoters used to gain exposure for the fight, and ultimately, line the pockets for all those involved. What more could you ask for in a USP?

Well, in a one-on-one sport, two big personalities certainly help. Both sportsman come with their own brand image, pitted against one another in a series of pre-event press conferences, with social media doing the rest of the work for them. A testament to the opinion that no publicity is bad publicity.

Quite simply, the pre-fight promotions have been one big lesson in branding and busines marketing. It may be a completely different industry to which you and I operate, but the lessons are always the same. The more you promote your business (or product), the more money you’ll make from it.

Taking a gamble

Talent and confidence aside, it’s fair to assume that Mcgregor was unlikely going into the fight expecting to come out as the victor. That would be like Dominos expecting to beat Jamie Oliver in a pizza making competition. There’s no denying both are great at what they do, but in completely differing senses. The ingredients just aren’t the same.

Notwithstanding the loss, Mcgregor will be the first to admit that he’s learnt lessons from this event.

It’s the same in business. It’s easy to treat a set-back or an instance of defeat as a loss, but what makes a great person or great business is accepting the lessons which can be learnt from such an outcome.

Working off your strengths can certainly take you where you want to be. Taking a gamble by entering an arena where you must build on your weaknesses will present a business with rewards which are unpredictable and sometimes even unimaginable.

And as for Mayweather Jr., whatever his expectations of the fight, his more definable victory resulted from maintaining composure throughout the entire event. More importantly, with a record of 50-0, there was never a moment of complacency throughout his professional career. A lesson which applies to both new and established businesses aiming for the greatest of successes.

Looking to the future

Every sportsman will go into an event with a plan of action, present and future, which may or may not be dependent on the outcome. Both sportsman, being at very different stages of their career, have gone their respective ways to consider what’s next for them.

The same applies to business. Whatever challenge you are about to face, looking to the future and creating a plan of action depending on various outcomes will ensure you never have to face the unexpected.

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