Conor McGregor – the man, the myth, the legend. The loud mouth, Crumlin born showman has became famous for his illusive striking, crazy fight predictions and his ability to roast his opponents in press conferences to the point of freezing up when faced with him in the cage. Love him or hate him- his PR campaign works.
Recently McGregor has been making the headlines for all the wrong reasons, for example hurling a dolly at an opponent’s bus window, injuring numerous fighters, invading the cage at another fight promotion and consequently making the general public fear he was losing his mind. It could be argued that this thoughtless and irrational behaviour may have been detrimental to his reputation and public image however perhaps there is a method to his madness, after all does bad publicity really exist? I think that it is high time for the public to appreciate Conor McGregor for the shrewd, calculating businessman and PR genius that he is. Ultimately he is the one with the staggering net worth of $110 million USD meanwhile I struggle to gather up the price of his pay per view fights.
Was this a calculated stunt to promote the biggest UFC fight of all time ???? You decide.
McGregor has utilised his popularity with the millennial generation and used it to his advantage in undertaking a recent business venture whereby he has attempted to get his foot in the door of the Whiskey business. He was a huge talking point in the media recently and he has used this momentum to promote his new product “Proper Twelve” to the next level in his UFC press conference. With the fans behind him coming into his fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov, McGregor took every opportunity to have a bottle of his infamous Proper Twelve glued to his hand in order to make it a household name around the globe. He then proceeded to taunt Jameson whiskey as he claimed it was “done” and “we only drink Proper Twelve, proper Irish whiskey from a proper Irish man.” This was a huge claim as Jameson is so well established in Ireland yet he had his fans cheering “F*** the Jameson brothers” at the open workouts. Quite a bold move but he isn’t notorious for being respectable in his approach to marketing.
With mixed reviews from whiskey experts it left a question mark over the quality of his new whiskey but McGregor was confident in what he had created and refused to be knocked by the critics. His claims weren’t far from correct as 6 months of anticipated sales were shipped to Ireland and the US within 10 days. This massive crave for his product was assisted by his press conferences, social media accounts and his bold claims of superiority to Irelands leading whiskey brands. Jameson’s official Instagram following is 98.4k whereas in comparison Conor McGregor’s Proper Twelve has 457k followers; though McGregor has made bold claims about overtaking Jameson in the whiskey market, with such a dominant social media presence his claims seem viable – he has made a career out of making the unimaginable a reality.
Above pictured is Dana White (UFC President) supporting the Dubliner with his new whiskey. (showing no favouritism at all, of course…)
Conor McGregors dream to become the leading whiskey brand was also aided by the fact that he launched Proper Twelve as a main sponsor of UFC 229 in the lead up to his most recent fight. Proper Twelve flew off the shelves and into every home in the country, reinforcing the notorious stereotype of our Irish drinking culture.
Another massive PR appearance which Conor attended was a Dallas Cowboys game, taking center field to promote Proper Twelve to his huge American following. As his hype train is undoubtedly creating a deafening buzz of anticipation among the fans there no doubt that McGregor is the king of PR as well as the octagon. The controversy he solicits works in his favour time and time again as he keeps the public and the media talking about him; love him or hate him we all know who Conor McGregor is. In conclusion, he has cemented his name as a Jack of all trades and an expert at endorsing his popular product.
David Hughes is a Final Year BSc in Communication Management & Public Relations student at Ulster University. He can be found on: Twitter – @DavidHughes34 ; LInkedIn – linkedin.com/in/david-hughes-2a9117172.