25 Aug 2017 | by Anthony Kelly

Conor ‘The Notorius’ McGregor may be one of the most talked about men on the planet at the moment. His enviable talent for generating hype around his sporting events has not only made his fight with Mayweather one of the most talked about events in 2017 it has catapulted his personal brand into the realms of superstardom. There are some valuable lessons to be learnt from Connor McGregor when it comes to event marketing.


Discussions between both McGregor and Mayweather camps began all the way back in 2015. At the time, I do not think anybody thought that the UFC and boxing worlds would collide, creating one of the most highly anticipated events in the world of boxing.

Marketers are always banging on about making the most of the time available, starting your planning early to achieve success. The McGregor Vs Mayweather fight is a prime example of the success that can be achieved through starting your campaign early. It takes time to plan an effective strategy, set measurable goals and deliver this to market. Our audiences too need time, to digest the information we provide them with, weighing up the pro’s and con’s of attendance, building it into their schedule, creating conversations amongst their peers. Springing an event on people two months before the actual date does not allow your audience time to sufficiently go through the process nor does it allow time for the true value of word of mouth marketing to be achieved. Starting the conversation about your event early allows you to follow in the steps of McGregor making announcements about each step of the process, from venue, to speakers and special guests. Allowing time builds momentum, make sure your event doesn’t miss out on that fantastic opportunity.


Influencer marketing is becoming ever more prevalent. The reach and power that many global influencers have over their following is phenomenal. Both Mayweather and McGregor have dominated their respective sports in their own right, but both are also extremely clever businessmen.  Tapping into the power of other global influencers such as Drake, Cristiano Ronaldo and Justin Timberlake, the ‘hype’ around the event has increased vastly.

Obviously, it’d be difficult to get the likes of Drake and Cristiano Ronaldo to support and influence your event, but influencer marketing can play a vital part in the success. Each field and industry has it’s own “personalities”, the key here is knowing your audience and understanding their spheres of influence, this helps when selecting speakers, entertainment and key topics to discuss. Making the most of booked speakers and entertainment is crucial, whether it be requesting input in a series of blogs, planning social media mentions and exploiting PR opportunities and their social following.

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Once this is in place you can begin to target thought leaders and influencers that are potential attendees, their interest will be peaked with the topics and speakers, which when supported with VIP invites will encourage their attendance and if managed correctly them talking about and sharing information on your event. Given time discussions develop and the hype around your event will grow. 


The world-famous MGM Grand Las Vegas will be playing host to the world on Saturday 26th August 2017. The globally recognised venue has played an integral role in the publicity of this event, adding to the excitement of the event due to the prestige of the venue. Additionally, the MGM Grand brings  another channel of awareness, via its popular social media channels and can act as a pull to draw people to the event. Whilst the MGM Grand Las Vegas may be slightly out of budget or too long of a commute, carefully selecting exciting, innovative and generally popular venues for events can without doubt increase the success of an event, and support your marketing activities.


Conor McGregor, often known as the ‘king’ of social media, has created a social media frenzy in the build-up to the event. With a global following of 29.2 million across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, his direct call-outs to Floyd Mayweather and ‘elaborate’ posts have maximised the social reach, exponentially.  

Obviously, a following of that scale is only really heard of in the celebrity sphere, but as discussed within “utilising influencers” maximising social reach through suppliers, venues, speakers and attendees social media can play a vital role in event marketing.  Video, imagery and carefully created content can be distributed and shared across all social media channels. Your reach can also be amplified through targeted advertising across social channels to ensure your messages and content are placed in front of your desired audience who may previously have been out of your reach.


For anyone who has followed the event from day one, I think we can all agree that it has been a PR dream. The clashes, the Twitter showdowns, ‘that’ training video; the media around the world have been having a field day. Both Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather have been bold with their statements and actions, creating huge amounts of PR opportunities.

And this can be brought into any event marketing. Don’t be afraid to be innovative, think outside the box, and be clever. Do something different to get people talking. Be bold.


Whilst the Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather fight is an event on a scale rarely seen before. We can all take some vital lessons when it comes to marketing our events successfully.

And whoever wins on Saturday night, I think both camps will look back at the event as an astounding success!

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Anthony Kelly

By Anthony Kelly

Anthony began his marketing career back in 2008 after studying business management & marketing at the University of Stirling. He joined the events and incentive travel industry in 2015 after spending a number of years in the engineering, oil & gas and transport & logistics industries.More articles by Anthony Kelly