The fight that took social media by storm

Written by: Ethan Cummins

Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather are set to face off against each other in what is going to be one of the biggest boxing (and trash talking) matches of all time.

While we’re sure most sports fans are excited for the actual event, here at Atlas, we’ve been particularly interested with the way the event has rolled out on social media.

Here’s what you need to know about the event

Before we get into the details on how the fight has been marketed online, we should give you a bit of background.

McGregor, nicknamed “The Notorious”, is an Irish mixed martial artist signed to the UFC who is a two-time champion and boasts one of the most colourful personalities in sports. He has never fought professionally as a boxer, however, as a kid he was one of the top amateur boxers in Ireland.

Floyd Mayweather is an American boxer viewed as one of the all-time greats, holding a perfect 49-0 career record. He had originally retired in 2015, but stated multiple times that he would come back only to fight McGregor.

The fight is scheduled for August 26th at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise Las Vegas and will be televised for $99.95.

Now, let’s talk social media.

Social Media and Sports

Like cereal and milk, social media and sports just go together. You would be crazy to say that the development of social media hasn’t had a tremendous impact on the sporting world. Getting sports information from social media platforms is quick, easy, and user-friendly.

A recent study showed that sports fans are 67% more likely to have a Twitter account to enhance their viewing experience and that 50% of tweets regarding TV are about sports. When you think about it, Twitter is basically a virtual sports bar.

Social media also gives us a perspective on a team or athlete’s personality. Fans can enjoy a player for their performance, but won’t support them if their social media contains NSFW (not safe for work) content. Likewise, people can really support an athlete, for example, Conor McGregor, if their social accounts create a positive image for themselves.

McGregor vs Mayweather Online

While the legend Mayweather might be the favourite in the boxing ring, McGregor is the unanimous winner of the web.

When you combine Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, Mayweather has an impressive 37.1 million followers. When you do the same for McGregor he only has 25.1 million followers (although this number is growing exponentially). However, even though Mayweather has more followers, the Irish man has a larger clout.

Both McGregor and Mayweather confirmed their fight via Twitter, and the difference in engagement was incredible. While having almost 3 million fewer followers, McGregor’s post generated double the amount of replies, two and a half times as many retweets, and over three times as many likes as.

In fact, when you search Conor McGregor on Google, his own website is nowhere to be found, but his Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts are the first thing to appear.

Social Media’s Effect on the Fight

Advertising for events as big as this used to be done through TV ads. No longer is that the case. With a lot of help from social, the McGregor and Mayweather showdown has received global attention. There are countless pages across Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook that have been created specifically for the fight.

On Instagram, both #conormcgregor and #floydmayweather have been posted about half a million times. When the fighters went on their promotional tour #MayMacWorldTour was the top trending hashtag multiple times on Twitter.

Social media has also added to the hype of the fight. The fight has generated an audience that features people who aren’t even boxing or UFC fans, largely in part to both personalities on their social accounts.

Social media also has encouraged the athletes to manufacture little scenes that can be relayed easily by social media. This creates discussion and, in turn, free promotion for the fight.

Social media has become a dynamic source for getting news, and engaging in discussions. This is especially true in the Sports Industry where social media drives talk, and has changed the way fans, teams, and players interact with each other. The Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather fight is the perfect example of this.

Atlas Communications is a Toronto social media marketing company specializing in social media branding, lead-generation, and results-driven campaigns for companies of all sizes. Contact our agency today for all of your social media marketing needs!

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