The Mayweather-McGregor Effect on High School Sports (and why it's good for schools)
The juggernaut that was the Golden State Warriors started it. LaVar Ball perpetuates it.
And now the Mayweather-McGregor Fight will give it the proverbial knock-out.
The high dollar alienation of sports fans. That is, the sports fans I know.
And I'm talking sports fans who have families.
Baby Boomers. Millennials.
I'm talking about people who work. People who support their community. People who sit down on Friday nights to watch high school football and don't know a kid on the field.
Fans who sit around and talk sports at piano recitals. Fans that have honey-do lists. Fans that host cookouts and manage teenagers.
Then it's those other fans. It's also the high schoolers who are looking to buy their first-car and insurance. Picking career paths and phone plans. Opening bank accounts and finding brands that align with them.
But big money sports just don't speak to them anymore. Let's think about how people talk about where they work It's no longer just corner office six-digit salaries. Millennials are picky. They want companies they believe in and companies that support the causes they support.
Sure, there are the fans that go out and watch $100 fights and they will go out in droves to watch this one. Some will get the pay-per-view and pack their basements with friends. Others will pay through cover charges and bar tabs.
But, like Conor said, "There is definitely an addiction to money [that he has]."
In pro-sports the deals keep getting bigger. The television rights keep growing. The ticket rates go higher.
With the biggest pay-per-view in history weeks away, the timing is perfect.
It's right before high school football starts... right before the effect will be seen and felt throughout communities across the U.S.
These communities are looking for companies who align with them. With their values. With their priorities. No longer is being the company with the biggest checkbook to put your name on the biggest athletes working. No longer do companies connect with million dollar ads in powerhouse matches where one or a few dominate. If you think so, come back to this blog when you are done reading all the news you read in the paper.
Communities, and the families that comprise them, want stories. They want to hear how three historically black high schools in Orlando started swim teams and they want to know what companies came to help them succeed and who provided them resources.
Parents want to bank with a bank who support their children. Shop at a retailer that provided volunteers to their schools. Buy a car from a dealer who sponsors their events.
It's the perfect storm. August 26th will showcase a circus act where two big names and two big time talkers will walk with hundred million dollar payoffs and, when the product doesn't live up to the hype (and there's no way it can), all the conversations surrounding this one night will be about the money.
The water cooler talk will be about how everybody got robbed.
And the sponsors who drop the big bucks for the Mayweather-McGregor fight won't be remembered either.
If you are a booster club president, coach, or high school athletic director this is great news. The big ad agencies don't want to hear from you and company CEO's still won't take your calls. But if you can highlight your program to a local decision-maker and come to them with a sponsorship package that is detailed and deliverable, you can capitalize on this historic moment.
Or if your brand can reach out to your communities that you want to reach and offer schools a reasonable partnership, school programs need good partners and will be willing to talk with you.
Like the negotiations with Maywether-McGregor and all good sponsorship packages, the key is not be too rigid. Look for good partners who make sense and look for a partnership that adds value to your brand or to your school.
I guarantee some of the best high school athletic partnerships will come out of this and we will all be better for it.