Remember how Burger King’s mascot was part of Floyd Mayweather’s entourage at Saturday’s massive letdown of a fight? Well, he wasn’t there just because Floyd was a fan of his giant plastic head. Burger King was one of three sponsors that each paid Mayweather $1 million dollars to associate with him. Darren Rovell first reported it:
The other two companies to pay the million were FanDuel and Hublot, but their sponsorships came in the more traditional form of their logos being patched onto Mayweather’s trunks. On a pure marketing level, it was a very clever decision, one that got people talking. Brand exposure research firm Amobee explains, via Adweek:
Looking at May 3 the day after the fight compared to May 2, digital consumption around Burger King increased 1,343%. Additionally in the last month, between April 3 – May 3, already27% of Burger King consumption has been related to that mascot appearance at the fight.
By that measure, Burger King’s investment was a sound one. But brand awareness is not the beginning and end of this issue. Boxing writer Daniel Roberts was one of the many people on Twitter who brought up the biggest problem with the King’s presence at the fight:
Fortune reporter Daniel Roberts (no relation) confirmed Rovell’s announcement of BK’s sponsorship deal, but also questioned their involvement with Mayweather. The company’s only response was to say “We don’t call him the King for nothing.” Okay, thanks.
It’s still a net positive for Burger King, considering the number of people who noticed the King heavily outweighs the number of people who would condemn his proximity to Mayweather. And it’s probably safer to speak in cryptic nonsense than try to address a thorny issue head-on. But it did nothing to dispel the notion many now have that Burger King cares more about brand awareness than domestic violence.