It’s a knockout!
Legendary American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr, who recently beat both UFC champion Conor McGregor and Manny Pacquiao, has lent his likeness to the social poker game, Wild Poker. In a huge coup for the title, and as a clever marketing strategy, Mayweather’s endorsement looks set to give the game a massive head start in such a saturated market of freemium gaming options.
Mayweather’s fight with McGregor, coupled with the mass amount of marketing done to promote the fight, and the goading around social media that helped create more of a buzz, reportedly generated $600m at the box office. So by attaching his name and persona to the game, especially as Mayweather is known to be a fan of poker, will be the star power needed to give the game the added advantage. Mayweather promoted the game on social media to more than 40 million fans, which, in terms of AVE (Advertising Value Equivalent) would itself result in millions of dollars of free marketing.
Interestingly, Mayweather announced in the press release for the partnership that he is asked to give his endorsement to many things, but chose Wild Poker because of his affinity with the concept. The game is like most standard poker games, where players win hands and chips and progress through the levels and missions of the game. But the difference here is that the game gives each player a special power, which can be deployed at the table to give them an advantage. The game combines Texas Hold ‘Em poker with turn-based strategy games like Hearthstone. Players are urged to get in touch with their animal instinct to win.
The game takes huge influence from other options of playing poker socially, which are largely based online as opposed to as an app. The options for playing video poker online also take advantage of the many variants of poker that fans of the game would respond well to, especially if the added extras are off-putting. The strategic side of playing poker has been adapted to focus on different aspects of the game, while retaining the essence of the game, which Wild Poker has been able to do for the social gaming genre.
But choosing a boxer to front a product that has nothing to do with the sport isn’t anything new. George Foreman turned his hand to creating fat-free grilling machines, which have sold over 100 million units worldwide and have become a household name. Heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano became a businessman with investments in a spaghetti house, while Canadian boxer Donovan ‘Razor’ Ruddock opened a nightclub. The power of celebrity in the boxing world, to past-times that go hand in hand with the macho nature of boxing often prove fruitful, which explains why Wild Poker chose Mayweather.
Wild Poker’s integration of boxer Floyd Mayweather benefits both parties, and opens up the future for further sports personalities joining with non-sports proclivities. The future of marketing is definitely moving in the direction of ‘influencers’, so traditional brand partnerships look set to develop with the use of social media and provide opportunities for both parties to continue to flourish.