Mayweather or McGregor: Who Wins at Social Media?

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With the big event Saturday night—yes, it’s called a fight, but it’s an event—between undefeated boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Irish mixed martial arts leader Conor McGregor, PR pros cannot help but think how much this contest’s publicity has garnered.

Regardless of who eventually emerges victorious in what some are calling a modern-day David and Goliath battle, both men can expect to see a large rise in their bank statements, through prize money and endorsements from brands. Their social media numbers may also be feeling happier soon, too.

After all, take two of the best in their respective fields, with social media followings that match their net worth, and you realize Mayweather and McGregor make not only a promoter’s wildest dreams come true but they could be valuable to premium brands seeking an influencer.

As communicators we know a massive social media following can be a boon for raising awareness.  The best part about Mayweather and McGregor is that their massive social followings are without question. The concerns for brands, of course, are whether or not you have the budget needed to acquire either of these gentlemen’s services and, just as important, can the ROI be justified?

So, just for fun, which one would you choose?

Based purely on numbers of followers, McGregor easily takes the crown, with 17 million on Instagram as of early this morning; Mayweather has about 16 million. Another factor is engagement, of course. In terms of consumer actions, or comments and shares, McGregor leads there, too.

If you’re a brand what can you expect from the two? In general, McGregor is more active on Instagram than Mayweather. But let’s really dig deep, again for fun. Assume only luxury brands can afford these two pitchmen. As such, CupoNation Singapore looked at the amount the men posted about what seems to be their favorite luxury item: Cars.

In terms of posts about the Lamborghini luxury car brand, McGregor created triple the postings that Mayweather did. It’s true that neither Mayweather nor McGregor represent Lamborghini or any luxury cars at the moment, but we’re just doing this for fun, right? By the way, McGregor had 2.4 times more Rolls-Royce posts, too.

Now, besides a great car, what else does a fighter need to be truly well appointed? How about a high-price watch? Mayweather has had a long-term relationship with Swiss watchmaker Hublot. As such, we were expecting more luxury watch postings from him. Again, however, McGregor surprised, with triple the luxury watch mentions on Instagram. McGregor wasn’t only sharing posts about Rolex watches, one of his favorites, but also created posts from about brands from Patek Philippe to Audemars Piguet.

So it appears McGregor might be worth a brand’s investment, especially as a luxury watch ambassador. But consider this carefully. As a brand, would you rather your influencer share more posts on social media or fewer, high-quality postings that gain more engagement?

Indeed McGregor had a higher density of luxury watch shares, but, as we know, excessive social posting about a brand can turn off social media followers. Is McGregor being authentic? Is this part of his social media strategy or is he tone-deaf to what excessive posting could signal to his followers? In truth, maybe he just enjoys posting about high-priced timepieces.

While this post is mostly in jest, it’s also clear that selecting an influencer can be difficult. Remember, we didn't even consider the alleged outside-the-ring incidents that have followed these two.  In the end, of course, choosing an influencer depends on many things, including the main objectives and goals of your brand.

Atiqah Khamurudin is a senior manager, digital marketing & PR, CupoNation Singapore.  Contact her at: atiqah.khamurudin@cuponation.com