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Weekend Sports Business Wrap – August 25-27

Mayweather-McGregor Crowd Under Capacity; Fight Beats Expectations

Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeated Conor McGregor at T-Mobile Arena last night in front of a crowd of 14,623, “about 6,000 shy” of capacity. Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe said, “You’re not going to always get it right. It’s all about delivery. The fans who were here enjoyed themselves” (L.A. TIMES, 8/27). It was a “pro-McGregor crowd that roared every time the UFC fighter landed a punch” (AP, 8/27). The crowd “serenaded McGregor with ‘Ole,’ and chanted ‘Conor’ and roared with every McGregor connection” (L.A. TIMES, 8/27). The atmosphere was “more rock concert than sporting event” (SI.com, 8/27).

The night’s “biggest surprise” was that the fight “wasn’t the snoozefest many feared.” Mayweather and McGregor “promised to put on a show,” and to the “surprise of many, they delivered” (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 8/27). What was “long treated as a farce became legitimately fun, and intriguing” (NYPOST.com, 8/27). It was a “better-than-expected fight” (AZCENTRAL.com, 8/27). If fans “bought in for the spectacle,” they got “more than” they bargained for (ESPN.com, 8/27).

Fight broadcaster Showtime “assembled a stable of celebs that rivaled the entourage” that was in Las Vegas for the Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight in ’15. Among the celebrities in attendance: Robert KraftLeBron JamesJames HardenDraymond GreenPaul GeorgeBruce WillisJerry BruckheimerJennifer LopezAlex RodriguezMatt DamonJamie FoxxMark WahlbergJeremy Piven and Ben Stiller (USATODAY.com, 8/27). Also making an “appearance on the red carpet” was the Sasquatch mascot of Jack Link’s, directly after William H. MacyJay Pharoah, Cheadle and Willis (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 8/27).

Mayweather To Earn Nearly $300M, McGregor Likely More Than $100M

Floyd Mayweather Jr. last night in his win over Conor McGregor made a guaranteed $100M, but “likely will make well in excess” of $200M. Meanwhile, McGregor was guaranteed $30M for the fight and “likely will earn” more than $100M (ESPN.com, 8/27). Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe said that the PPVs were “trending well, and when all things are said and done Mayweather could end up” with nearly $300M. McGregor said of his purse, “The check’s not bad. I’ve already been raising the MMA checks and I’m certainly going to raise the MMA checks when I get back there” (LAS VEGAS SUN, 8/27). While the fight was “entertaining and hardly the farce many called it, the truth is, this was made for one reason: money” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 8/27).

Falcons Get High Marks After First Game In Mercedes-Benz Stadium

The Falcons played their first game in Mercedes-Benz Stadium last night against the Cardinals “after more than five years of preparation.” The opening was “hugely anticipated,” and it is “not a bad place to watch a game.” About 70,000 fans “packed into the building,” most wearing “huge grins and pointing camera phones in every direction.” (ROC: WHERE??????)

There is a “lot to marvel at” (HUFFINGTONPOST.com, 8/26). The Falcons lost 24-14, but the “attraction wasn’t the game” (AJC.com, 8/26). Tickets distributed was “announced at 70,237, but about one-third of them didn’t attend” (AJC.com, 8/26).

LSU-BYU Game In Houston “Likely” To Be Moved Due To Flooding

LSU’s season-opening football game against BYU scheduled for Saturday is “likely to not be held in Houston, following historic flooding in Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.” Officials are weighing “several options” for a potential relocation of the game, scheduled for NRG Stadium. School officials, those from the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff and ESPN, which is broadcasting the game, “remain in contact about a relocation, something that seems more and more likely.” NRG Park is “scheduled to be used as an emergency operations center.” As of this morning, Superdome officials said that they have “not been contacted about hosting the game, but that they’re open to it” (THEADVOCATE.com, 8/27).

ESPN Using New Taylor Swift Song In College Football Promo

ESPN is using Taylor Swift‘s new single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” in a promotional video for one of the “most anticipated opening games in college football history,” Saturday’s Alabama-Florida State Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (PALMBEACHPOST.com, 8/25). The promo is drawing myriad reactions on social media. The Omaha World-Herald’s Sam McKewon: “What person at ESPN thought CFB fans wanted to hear the new T Swift song under each Alabama/FSU promo?” SiriusXM’s Bennett Karoll added, “The only thing worse than the new Taylor Swift song is that ESPN is using it in commercials.” PR executive Matt Owings: “ESPN using the new T.Swift song to hype the Bama-FSU game is interesting, if not for the fact that it had to be remixed with a better beat.”


Yesterday’s Sydney Cup between Rice and Stanford was a “successful” showcase of American football for a second straight year, drawing 33,181 fans to Allianz Stadium (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 8/27).

Former MLBers Mark McGwireTim McCarver and Pepper Martin were inducted into the Cardinals HOF yesterday (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 8/27).

Baseball HOFer Carlton Fisk “will be inducted” into the Triple-A Int’l League Pawtucket Red Sox HOF today at McCoy Stadium (BOSTONGLOBE.com, 8/27).

Pac-12 Presidents Discuss PAC 12 Network: HERE

The Week Ahead

• U.S. Open begins (Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing Meadows, N.Y.)


• NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals begin (Lucas Oil Raceway, Indianapolis)THURSDAY
• LPGA Cambia Portland Classic begins (Columbia Edgewater Country Club, Ore.)
• Traditional beginning to the college football season (15 FBS games)

• PGA Tour Dell Technologies Championship begins (TPC Boston) (second event in FedExCup Playoffs)

• NASCAR Xfinity Series Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 (Darlington Raceway, Darlington, SC)
• UFC Fight Night 115: Stefan Struve vs. Alexander Volkov (Rotterdam, Netherlands)

• Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles 500 (Darlington Raceway)
• NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Bowmanville, Ontario)
• NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Bowmanville, Ontario)
• F1 Heineken Italian Grand Prix (Autodromo Nazionale Monza)
• WNBA regular season ends
• Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix At The Glen (Watkins Glen)
• North American “League of Legends” Championship Series Finals (TD Garden, Boston)
• European “League of Legends” Championship Series Finals (AccorHotels Arena, Paris)

Thanks to Sports Business Daily