A quick knockout in Saturday’s Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao bout would be almost as painful for the event’s main sponsor as the losing fighter.
Heineken NV’s Tecate beer outbid rival Corona for a record $5.6 million sponsorship for the most lucrative fight in boxing history. The Mexican beer, which has its logo on the ring floor and throughout the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, has five times that much in media exposure riding on the length of the welterweight title unification bout, according to sponsorship and analytics firm Apex Marketing Group Inc.
If the fight ends in a first-round knockout Tecate will get about $2 million in brand exposure during the main event. That rises to more than $30 million if the fight goes the full 12 rounds, Apex managing partner Eric Smallwood said. Early knockouts are rare for each fighter.
“Tecate will be the beer brand in the center of the sports world on Saturday night,” Smallwood said in an e-mail. “By making sure they are under the feet of two of the best fighters of the past 20 years, Tecate will garner millions of dollars of brand awareness no matter how the fight turns out.”
A knockout in the first minute of the third round Saturday would result in about $7 million of exposure for Tecate. A knockout in the sixth round is worth about $14 million, Smallwood said.
The Apex numbers are based on an estimate of 34 million television viewers and apply only to the main event, when a bulk of those consumers will tune in. Smallwood said the company analyzed the location of Tecate’s branding and historic pay-per-view broadcasts to determine exposure values.
The sponsorship is paying off in other ways, too. Almost half of the consumption of Tecate digital content in the month ending April 29 was related to Saturday’s fight, according to marketing company Amobee Brand Intelligence. That means Tecate nearly doubled its digital footprint as a result of its sponsorship of the bout.
An early knockout is unlikely. The Westgate LV SuperBook is offering 60-1 odds on a first-round knockout for each fighter. At sports book William Hill Plc, the odds of the fight going the distance are wider than 1-3, with 97 percent of money placed favoring that outcome.
Pacquiao hasn’t knocked out an opponent since 2009; Mayweather’s only shortened fight in that span came when he knocked out Victor Ortiz while his opponent was apologizing for a headbutt.
Tecate won’t be the only advertiser in the ring -- both fighters will have brand logos on their trunks. A spot on the belt of Mayweather’s shorts, for example, was purchased last month by fantasy sports site FanDuel Inc.
The fight as a whole attracted more than $11 million in sponsorships, according to Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum. He said that’s about five times more than in most major fights.