Saturday, April 25, 2009 | 8 a.m.
- No. 1: Predictions and pick ‘ems
- No. 2: Pacquiao, Hatton love Las Vegas
- No. 3: Trainers’ stories hidden behind trash talk
- No. 4: Hatton still a power puncher at heart
- No. 5: Pacquiao is one quick cat
- No. 6: An international affair
- No. 7: ‘The Manchester Mexican’ vs. ‘The Mexi-cutioner’
- No. 8: Watching how a world is watching
- No. 9: A battle between East and West
- No. 10: The biggest chapter in two champions’ storied careers
Editor's Note: Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton, boxing's top two international superstars, square off in "The Battle of East and West" on May 2 at the MGM Grand. In the days leading up to this blockbuster bout, the Las Vegas Sun is presenting a Top 10 countdown of key points of interest for Pacquiao vs. Hatton.
Any boxing promoter worth his soul, would likely sell it just as quick for a few more bucks in ticket revenue or a bit of extra publicity.
Luckily for the head honchos at Golden Boy and Top Rank, next Saturday’s Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton megabout has already made quite the sales splash.
But in these tough economic times, officials with both camps, and HBO felt they had to create an even bigger buzz and thus created a comprehensive multi-tiered marketing campaign.
Yahoo’s Kevin Iole sums it up best:
If you turn on the television or the radio or sit in front of a computer or read a newspaper or buy a magazine or update your iPod, chances are pretty good you’ll hear about the Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton fight.
The most glamorized build-up is taking place on HBO’s award-winning “24/7” series, a show that offers an all-access look into each fighter’s training camps, the escalating side bout between the two outspoken trainers (Freddie Roach and Floyd Mayweather Sr.), and of course, the importance this match holds in Pacquiao’s native Philippines and Hatton’s home of Manchester, England.
But officials didn’t rest on the home run capabilities of “24/7” alone.
Golden Boy and Top Rank personnel built an exclusive Web site, www.pacmanhitman.com, which offers fans breaking news, exclusive videos and photos and contest opportunities.
"We are extremely excited to add this dimension to our promotional efforts," said Todd duBoef, President of Top Rank Inc. "We know this gives fans an extra opportunity to become emotionally vested in the outcome of next Saturday's fight while being a part of this worldwide event."
A billboard in Times Square, print ads in major newspapers and radio spots in top markets are some of the more traditional advertising policies in play. But a whole realm of Internet-only efforts, including a presence on social networking sites like Facebook, and cell phone updates is also being waged.
"There is tremendous pent-up consumer demand for a big fight. I believe that will play a role in the performance of Pacquiao-Hatton,” Mark Taffet, senior vice president of HBO PPV, told USA Today.
The fight officially sold out on Tuesday, only hours before Pacquiao threw out the first pitch at a San Francisco Giants-San Diego Padres game as part of Filipino night — which included a Pacquiao bobble head give-away that attracted more than 40,000 fans, which helped raise almost $50,000 for charity.
“Given that the live gate for this event is sold out, coupled with the sellout of tonight's San Francisco Giants baseball game where Manny is the guest of honor, indicates to me that 'The Battle of East and West' is on track to break all existing pay-per-view records," Top Rank Chairman Bob Arum said on Tuesday.
It’s doubtful considering the current economic landscape that the bout will break the all-time boxing pay-per-view record of just under 2.5 million buys that Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Oscar De La Hoya set in 2007.
But 1 million to 1.5 seems attainable considering Pacquiao-De La Hoya drew 1.25 million buys in December and Hatton’s bout against Mayweather Jr. in 2007 drew a little less than a million.
Whichever way the world decides to watch, it’s a good bet that more than just boxing fans will be tuning in for this one.
"We're extremely pleased with the way fans have reacted to this," said De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions.
"You've got two of the best fighters in the world in Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao, as well as two of the most exciting fighters, facing each other in their primes. This is going to be a fight to remember."