New York -- TVKO and cable operators have teamed up to
develop a major marketing campaign for the network's Sept. 18 Oscar De La Hoya-Julio
Cesar Chavez bout -- arguably the biggest pay-per-view boxing event in 1998.
The campaign will feature an unprecedented amount of
promotion for a De La Hoya fight as operators look to salvage what has become a lackluster
The fight -- a rematch of the fighters' June 1996
bout, which was won by De La Hoya -- will have two major sponsors: Anheuser-Busch
Co.'s Budweiser beer and Mennen Speedstick.
Budweiser will include spots for the fight as part of its
national ad campaign, said Dan York, vice president and general manager for TVKO. Mennen
will throw in national media spots, as well as point-of- purchase ads in stores around the
TVKO itself will run national spots for the fight over
broadcast and cable networks in more than 50 percent of the top markets, York said.
Nationally, spots for the event will air during National Football League and
college-football games, Late Show withDavid Letterman, boxing events and
broadcast-TV series such as NYPD Blue.
TVKO will also syndicate a 30-minute preview show that will
run on broadcast stations and cable networks. And a Spanish-language version will run on
Telemundo, TVKO said.
Operators can also air a 25-hour live preview show on
To help preview the fight, ESPN will telecast a live boxing
match from the fight's site one hour before the PPV event, York said.
"The show will certainly advise consumers to purchase
and tune into the [PPV] show," he added.
Meanwhile, Home Box Office will telecast a Sept. 12 fight
card that will feature live interviews from both Chavez and De La Hoya.
On the print side, TVKO has already distributed more than 1
million bilingual direct-mail pieces promoting the fight to operators. The network will
also run two half-page ads in USA Today two weeks prior to the fight and on the day
of the event.
In addition, De La Hoya will be featured in several
magazines over the next few weeks, including front-cover spreads in ESPN-The Magazine,
Ring, Boxing International Digest and Fitness. The fighter will also
appear in American Airlines and Latin Style magazines.
While De La Hoya fights typically average between 300,000
and 600,000 buys, operators are hoping that this bout, featuring two major boxing
attractions, can top the 700,000- to 800,000-buy mark.
"We need this fight to do heavyweight-type
numbers," said one top 10 operator who wished to remain anonymous.
While York would not predict how the fight will do, he did
say that it has attracted a lot of interest from operators.
"TVKO's marketing and the cooperation of all of
our cable and satellite partners is at the highest level ever for a De La Hoya
fight," York said. "It illustrates the attraction of this event as a PPV