5 Business Lessons To Learn From The Mayweather-Pacquiao Super-Fight

The super-fight has reached the 12th round and Pacquiao is yet to deal serious damage to the undefeated Mayweather. The latter, on the other hand, has been comfortably scoring with his sharp jabs and quick counters. Pacquiao has to get desperate and go for broke – but he did not.

The final seconds of the fight saw Mayweather smiling and raising his hand, assured of victory. Boy was he right!

And just like that, the “Fight of the Century” was over – but satisfying it was not. If you tuned in via PPV, perhaps you felt that it was ultimately a waste of money.

You won’t get your money back, but here’s something to make you feel better hopefully: 5 lessons from the Mayweather-Pacquiao match that won’t turn you into a boxer but could give you valuable lessons on how to run your business better.


Lesson 1


The boxing world had been clamoring for the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout since 2010 when both fighters were still in their prime.

But the two have shown signs of decline during the years in between: Pacquiao lost to Bradley and Marquez while Mayweather got a lot of flak for his unimpressive and allegedly undeserved win in his first match with Maidana.

Yes, the match wasn’t totally past its expiry date and was still significant 5 years later. But it’s far from the match it could’ve been if both boxers were at their peak, especially after seeing what happened in the ring.

Well, it sold like hotcakes anyway!

And it’s all thanks to the advertising and promotion behind the event – All Access episodes showing the fighters’ lives outside the ring, press conferences, exchanges on social media, interviews and news updates leading to the fight and the list of PR stunts go on.

Efforts to market the event worked like magic!

Lesson Learned: Creating great products and services is just half the battle – you also need to promote your offerings to bring customers and drives sales.

You may not have the marketing budget that HBO, TopRank, or CBS has – but who says you have to?

Advertising and promotion used to be the domain of big companies, those that have deep pockets and massive reach. Today however, SMBs and startups have access to platforms and tactics that can help increase awareness and sales for your products like:

  • Social media promotion using free and paid methods
  • Effective media launches (on the back of a well-designed press kit)
  • Content creation and email outreach
  • Email and list building
  • Infographic creation and distribution
  • And many more

A good promotion campaign, on the other hand, can only do so much for your business’ profits. You also need to have products that deliver and fill the needs of your audience, which brings us to the next lesson.

Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fotograzio/17143849167/in/photostream/ (Flickr CC)

Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fotograzio/17143849167/in/photostream/ (Flickr CC)


The “Fight of the Century” was a massive success for both boxers and the organizations behind the bout: Mayweather and Pacquiao went home with over $100M each, and several reports surfaced saying that the match’s PPV buys soared over 4 million.

With PPV buys at $90 for standard and $100 for HD in the USA, it’s slated to bring in an extra $360M to $400M for the parties involved.

The advertising and promotion paid off for the people behind the event, but not for the crowd that spent good money to watch. People were expecting a fierce battle between the two champions – not the efficient yet boring showing of boxing and elusiveness that the fight exhibited.

To be fair, TopRank, Mayweather Promotions, and other parties involved can only do so much to make the fight happen. Giving fans the show they wanted ultimately boiled down to the two fighters…and it didn’t happen.

The ‘final product’ didn’t live up to the advertising, leaving boxing fans disappointed.

Lesson Learned: Businesses, fortunately, have greater control of the products and services they develop and the advertising that goes with them. So make sure that you’ve got a great product to match a great advertising campaign!

Sure, selling a bad product is possible if it’s promoted convincingly and there are numerous examples of those: fancy products sold through home TV shopping that don’t work as advertised, rehashed ebooks and courses on ClickBank that come with impressive sales pages (but saddled with sky-high refund rates); and the list goes on.

Were sales generated? Yes.

Were their customers satisfied and willing to buy from them again? Probably not.

Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/iamagenious/3520685409 (Flickr CC)

Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/iamagenious/3520685409 (Flickr CC)


Mayweather dominated the 12-rounder but the fight also saw Manny Pacquiao unload combinations of power punches. He had his moments from the 3rd to the 5th round, getting really active and scoring cheers and hurrahs from the crowd – but not from the judges.

The reason: most of the punches were blocked, rolled, or countered by Mayweather.

“Don’t let your ears deceive you,” quipped one of the commentators, pointing out that the crowd may find Pacquiao’s activity in the ring and his whirlwind attacks entertaining but it’s the number of blows connected that counts.

Lesson Learned: Getting active and throwing punches in a boxing match is nice, but you have got to land to score. In the same vein, going to meetings, publishing posts, posting on social media, or attending networking events are useful business activities – but one shouldn’t measure progress by activity alone!

Think about it: a company’s success isn’t measured by the number of posts you have on your blog, tweets posted, or networking events you’ve attended. It is true that these actions can help your company grow, but it’s the results that come after that matter more such as…

  • Measurable increases in social media following and mentions
  • Improvement in your site’s conversion rate
  • Customer satisfaction levels
  • Newly formed strategic alliances and partnerships
  • Increase in sales and reduction in refund rates
  • And those are just to name a few

Don’t be active for the sake of being active. Before engaging in any of the practices mentioned above, sit down first and think what results you want out of it, which metrics or KPI’s to keep an eye on, and how to measure your results. Only then can you make and track REAL progress.


Pacquiao came into the fight as the more powerful puncher with 38 KO’s in his record. Mayweather, while no pushover in the power punching department, is famous for his precision and tight defense.

The result?

The Filipino champion managed to land only 19% of his punches while Mayweather connected 34% of his punches – precision ultimately won on May 2nd.

Lesson Learned: Having substantial marketing firepower and a deep advertising budget is nice, yet businesses – especially SMBs and startups – rarely have that. On the other hand, they could benefit greatly by being precise in their business processes and marketing campaigns – leading to lower advertising costs, better exposure and time savings.

Here are some examples:

  • Posting On Social Media: You’ve got a lot of great content and compiled the most informative write-ups from other sites in your industry, all ready for publishing and social sharing.

Instead of sharing content only when you have the time, use analytics (for Twitter, Facebook, etc.) to find during which days and times your followers are most active…and post on social media according to that. Doing so ensures that your shared content gets maximum exposure and engagement.

  • Paid Advertising: You can’t afford to be sloppy or lazy when it comes to paid advertising, that’s a surefire way to drain your advertising pockets especially if you use Google Adwords whose CPC’s have skyrocketed in the past 3 years.

Exhaust all of your targeting options as much as possible – from language, location, interests, keywords, and everything else in between. This helps ensure that you’re not wasting money and that your ads are shown to the right people.

Facebook is an awesome paid advertising platform: the network has a massive follower-base, their self-serve ads platform is very intuitive, but most important of all, it is rich in targeting options – allowing you to really drill deeper and find people who are looking for your products and services.

With the right targeting, you can successfully market your business on Facebook at a £8/day budget, SMBs and startups will appreciate that!

  • Guest Posting: Guest posting is very much alive, contrary to what others claim. How effective the technique is boils down to how you carry it out.

You can do a generic Google search (ex.: “write for us” + “keyword”) and offer to guest post on every site that comes up in the SERPs – while keeping your fingers crossed…hoping the links and traffic it will generate are of high quality.

Or, you can add a dose of precision to guest posting by filtering the sites according to DA, PA, TrustRank (or TrustFlow), and relevance to your industry. Not only will you have a shorter list of sites to email and pitch your guest post idea to, you also guarantee that your post will land on an authority site.

Biz owners have to do more to grow their business than just engage in social media posting, paid advertising, and guest posting of course. But the lesson remains the same: If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well…so be precise and laser-targeted in your actions.


Credit: https://goo.gl/zjLqlg

Credit: https://goo.gl/zjLqlg


Pacquiao fought the boxing match of his life with a torn rotator cuff and had to undergo surgery on his injured right shoulder just 3 days after the fight, an issue that the fighting congressman from the Philippines remained quiet about until the post-fight interview.

His intentions were noble. Boxing fans had been clamoring for the bout for years and many even thought the fight would never happen. Pacquiao understandably didn’t want to agitate boxing enthusiasts who were eagerly awaiting the match-up.

But with so much on the line – over $100M guaranteed prize, people around the world placing their money on him and expecting the Filipino boxer to fight at full strength, and PPV viewers who expect the bout to live up to its hype – Pacquiao should’ve been transparent and delaying the fight for 3 to 4 weeks was possibly the best action to take.

Not only did he lose the match and leave fans disappointed, Pacquiao is also likely to face sanctions for not disclosing his shoulder injury.

Lesson Learned: Business owners may have good motives for keeping issues out of the public eye and dodging the toughest questions from potential customers and partners. At the end of the day however, transparency beats noble intentions – it’s what people expect from you.

In this day and age where everyone is interconnected and has access to more information, one can’t expect to keep their customers in the dark and still enjoy the support of their target customers.

The prospect of “baring it all” may sound scary from a business perspective, but brands have proven time and again that taking this bold step can help them stay relevant in a time where business practices from all industries are often called into question.

We highly recommend checking out Elite Daily’s “Millennial Consumer Trends 2015” report, which we made an infographic out of. The report found that Millennials (the next generation of consumers) looks at a company’s authenticity and transparency before making buying decisions.

Take McDonalds Canada for example: their digital platform “Our Food. Your Questions.” encouraged customers to ask the “in your face” questions like:

  • Is 100% beef a fact or a company?
  • Are your fries gluten-free?
  • Is your meat made of cardboard

And those are just to name a few.

McDonalds Canada used the platform to provide honest, clear, and concise answers, which helped immensely in creating strong relationships with their customers.

On May 8th, 2015, posted in: News by