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Hublot looks to sports again with polarizing, yet popular partnership

August 23, 2017

Floyd Mayweather Jr. sports the Hublot name. Image credit: Hublot


Swiss watchmaker Hublot is backing a sports figure who keeps the focus on opulence and extravagance during one of the most-talked about sporting events coming up on Saturday, Aug. 26.

The watchmaker is supporting boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. with a second-time sponsorship in his “Big Money” match against UFC fighter Conor McGregor. Declaring that the partnership is “timeless,” Mr. Mayweather will be supporting the timepiece brand by wearing its name across the waistband of his boxing shorts.

"The potential negative implications are just as sizable as the positives," said Sandy Rubinstein, CEO of DXagency, New York, in relation to the partnership. "Partnering with a personality means you receive all the gifts that relationship brings, both good and bad.

"Should he have an issue, be part of a scandal or things go poorly during the fight, the residual effect on the Hublot brand and image can be catastrophic," she said. "Yet at times a brand must weigh the risks with the rewards.

"Only time will tell."

Ms. Rubinstein is not associated with Hublot or Mr. Mayweather, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Extravagance and sportsmanship
Mr. Mayweather is known for his extravagance, often flaunting the money he makes for each match. For instance, during many press conferences leading up to Saturday’s match, the boxer has thrown money into the air for attendees to grab.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. speaks during World Press Tour. Image credit: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

The boxer is also known for his unpredictability, has been known to make many consumers angry and is a polarizing figure in general.

Hublot will be sharing the spotlight with Mr. Mayweather on Aug. 26 by occupying the coveted sponsorship spot on his waistband. While the fighter may be polarizing, the match as well as Mr. Mayweather will give Hublot significant visibility.

This match will be the second time Hublot has supported the boxer in an extremely popular contest. In 2015, Mr. Mayweather fought in what was originally known as the “fight of the century” against Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, in which the former won by unanimous decision.

However, this current match may exceed the viewing numbers and popularity of the previous match, as Mr. McGregor is a famous UFC fighter, and is not a boxer.

Hublot looks to Mr. Mayweather to align its brand with. Image credit: Hublot 

Hublot is hoping to promote its Big Bang Unico King Gold Jewelry, explaining that both the fighter and jeweler “impose a bold style as a winning tactic.”

Hublot and sports
The watchmaker greatly values sports, hoping to cater to affluent men who are likely to be attracted to its products.

For instance, Hublot recently added to its athletic arsenal of ambassadors with the appointment of professional golfer Patrick Reed.

Mr. Reed, nicknamed on the golf circuit as “Captain America,” was appointed a Hublot ambassador during a VIP cocktail event hosted at The Woodlands Country Club in Houston, TX. Golf is an appropriate sports alignment for a luxury brand due to the cost to play at prestigious courses and the lifestyle associated with the game (see more).

The Swiss watchmaker is one year out from its official timekeeping duties at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow.

To kick off the 365-day countdown until the start of the international football tournament, Hublot chose June 16 as the best moment to open its Moscow boutique. Given that Russia is the host of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the world’s attention will be focused on the market, giving Hublot a boost in visibility in the process (see more).

"The benefits are tremendous especially for a high-end luxury brand such as Hublot," DXagency's Ms. Rubinstein said. "Hublot is known for partnerships with best in class teams and brands which have helped them increase sales and revenue year over year. But the most interesting element is the caliber of brands and teams they associate their brand with.

"They only take on partnerships with the top of the top like Ferrari, the Miami Heat and LA Lakers and FIFA World Cup," she said. "They use these partnerships to elevate their brand image with consumers as being part of the cream of the crop.

"Partnering with Mr. Mayweather is a perfect complement to their strategy and will yield brand glow from the excitement surrounding this fight. The returns on the investment will be the gift that keeps on giving."