Behind the Success of the Notorious UFC Fighter Conor McGregor
By Ha Nguyen
From fighting in front of 500 spectators to fighting one of the best boxers of all time, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Conor McGregor has transformed himself from a novice fighter into a bonafide superstar in just five short years. So, how does he do it? If we ought to know anything about McGregor, we must all have noticed that he is a trash-talker. In fact, he is probably the best trash-talker there is! From his predictions before fights, his extravagant lifestyle, his I - don’t – give – a – damn attitude, to his persona both outside and inside the ring, and of course, who could forget his Irish accent? Everything just comes together in the mix to create what I consider one of the best marketers in the world: Conor McGregor.
Let’s touch on four very crucial marketing tips from Conor McGregor that has had tremendoul impact to his career until today (We all might learn something from this).
1. McGregor is the creation of his own voice in the market
Conor McGregor is not at all normal. Many consider him a lunatic. In Vietnam, his name does not come up on papers but they just give him a nickname “mad dog of the UFC”. Hell, how would the people in Vietnam even know him? That’s how he had revolutionalized the whole idea of self-branding: his influence is global, he isn’t just one person anymore. McGregor has became an idea, an image or a brand one might say. He is not afraid to say anything on his mind, and moreover, he is not afraid to take on anyone at any given time. If we follow this fighter through his press conferences, we could see that there is a method behind his madness. He studies his opponent, he learns all of their movements closely. Ultimately, he visualizes himself in the ring with them while beating them and then he tells everyone how he is going to beat his opponent. It is a phenomenon where you visualizes something for so long, you work your heart out to complete that goal and then it comes true. So when Conor McGregor tells people how he’s going to beat his opponent, he says it like a prophecy. McGregor won 18 KO fights out of 21 in his career (http://www.espn.com/mma/fighter/_/id/3022677/conor-mcgregor ). It compels people and it truly make them think, is this guy full of it or is he serious? Love him or hate him, you sure would tune it and watch him because it is always so darn interesting.
2. Confidence. Talk the talk, walk the walk
According to the Independent UK, Conor McGregor’s net worth is 27 million USD purely from his fights with an addition of 7 million USD of sponsorship and endorsements which is incredibly high for someone who has joined the UFC not very long ago. I remember one of Conor McGregor's most historic fight with Jose Aldo, the best UFC featherweight champion of all time, someone who has been undefeated for over 10 years. Conor McGregor promised everyone that he would knock Jose Aldo out in the first round. And he did! In 13 seconds! McGregor is extremely confident about his abilities and he will never shy away from a challenge. But he doesn’t just talk. Conor backs up his words with his actions which even appeal to the audience even more. Who doesn’t want to watch a fighter who can say the most ridiculous thing in the world and end up doing it. The audience is interested in this kind of thriller that they can experience. That is why his fanbase grew exponentially in the last couple of years. He says that he would do something and then he goes out and do it. This helps him earn trust, prestige and admiration from millions of fans. Even when he lost, he owned his loss by blaming no one, trained his hardest to come back and avenge his loss. This is what makes McGregor so enticing and attractive to viewers.
3. McGregor has the right team behind his success
Although McGregor is, in his own right, an individual brand, he knows that without his team, he would never be where he is right now. There is a deep level of respect from McGregor to the people that has always been there for him. He understands clearly that everyone in his team including his coaches, manager, or even his family plays a crucial part in his brand name and that’s why he has never ceased from paying them his reverence. From time to time, he would posts pictures that generates millions of likes (https://www.instagram.com/p/BaW2P1vgFkn/?taken-by=thenotoriousmma), just to thank his team, his family and the people who work with him (makerting strategy right here). He has always emphasized on how important they are to him and whatever he is doing, it is for his team and his family. It is such an endearing quality that also gives viewers different aspects of the Conor McGregor; not only the “lunatic McGregor” but also the loyal and family man Conor McGregor as well.
As much as one can hate the ruthless and arrogant attitude of McGregor, it is undeniably true that he is becoming more and more successful everyday. In the sport of UFC, the audience is the main income of UFC fighters. How much they earn not only depends on how good they are but also how many people are willing to pay for a ticket to see their match. This man used his own image wisely to advertise himself and expand his fame as well as his net worth rapidly over the last few years and I extremely admire him for this.