Kaepernick, Mayweather, and McGregor

I sat heavy-hearted on a flight into Las Vegas, NV this morning. First, because my most treasured mountain range in the world is coming to life in the orange morning sun, and I am unable to climb them right now (my buddies exit the last N. leg of the SHR this week!). Second, because there is much hype, energy, and resources flowing into the city for a boxing match: Mayweather vs. McGregor.

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In a little over 24-hrs, it is estimated that . . . 

  • $30M will be legally wagered in NV alone
  • $1000+ per hour will be spent on legal prostitution
  • $30-100M+ to be earned by each man
  • $500M+ will be spent on Pay-Per-View T.V.
  • 97%+ resort occupancy rate in Las Vegas
  • $606M grossed for the event

5d36df5ead6730b107069f87b4ca3efa-photography-magazine-photo-sAll of this over two men stepping into a boxing ring. The like has never been seen, yet it does follow in the footsteps of another southpaw like McGregor, Jack Dempsey. He was the first boxer to bring $1M and $2M gates sales and made far more per fight than Babe Ruth did in any year for the Yankees.

Is this about boxing or money, sport or entertainment, or . . . well, money?

It certainly isn’t about doing what’s right and beneficial for the long-term of others (cash makes wings like eagles). I thought society cared about liberty and justice. I thought there was a conscience when it comes to matters like Ray Rice, Sylvia Mendez, or even Kaepernick, despite your side of the arguments. (For the record, Kaepernick was all class,  approachable, and cared about others when I would run into him in the athletic training facilities of UN back in my tennis days; the same for Nate Burleson of the NFL Network and his spouse. These people not only think about or try to bring positive awareness and change, they actually live it.)

What I see from this spectacle is the blatant, wanton, and convenient discretionary disrespect for others. Put simply, selfish pleasure and gain over positive social gain. LZ Grandson’s article, No Good Guy’s Here, expresses much of my take on this “fight” and pointed out the following:

  • Mayweather was convicted of domestic abuse
  • Racist barbs are used to antagonize
  • Homophobic slurs are common

Despite my disdain, I am impressed by the success of these two athletes and the business case study it is . . . 

  • McGregor hails from some of the roughest streets of the world and now he’s on the largest and richest stage of all time (and he’s never even boxed professionally!)
  • McGregor had the courage, hard-work, and moxy to change his life’s course from collecting $200 welfare checks and a designated future in plumbing
  • Mayweather has never lost a boxing match (49-0)
  • Mayweather brings huge money to Nevada
  • How to build brands (or not)

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As a learner, one who looks to redeem positive’s from all things, and will always allow for forgiveness and grace, I will board my flight out of Las Vegas with a heavy heart (still), but also one of conviction and courage to create and participate in things that honor and positively build-up society.

What are your takeaways from this spectacle? Is this just fun entertainment? How can you learn from the marketing success of this event? If society has this much money to spend on entertainment, could we provide clean drinking water around the globe, help our schools and youth, care for our seniors . . . !? How would you invest $100M?

* Current estimates

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