Mayweather-Pacquiao poster war diffused
LAS VEGAS, Nevada—Scott Ghertner was not too eager to burn the wires with the Inquirer.
When I reached him in his office yesterday, Ghertner, the public relations director for MGM Resorts International, chose not to answer questions concerning promoter Bob Arum’s broadside yesterday.
“I will send you our statement by e-mail,” Ghertner promised and he did as a PR guy in a firefighting mode should. He dispatched a response from his boss, Richard Sturm, president of entertainment and sports for MGM Resorts International.
“I was truly shocked by Bob’s comments… and honestly disappointed,” Sturm said in his statement. “MGM Grand hosted a fight March 8 and has three additional fight events scheduled now through Memorial Day weekend. We always do everything possible to properly promote the events throughout our resorts and over the decades have promoted many, many sporting events with enormous success.”
Meantime, the management at MGM Grand hotel, after Arum complained publicly, removed most of the giant posters for Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s May 3 fight versus Marcos Maidana that had been in competition with the marketing of Saturday’s Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley rematch.
More jumbotron video screens now flash the Pacquaio-Bradley fight, although a gigantic Mayweather image still covers a good portion of the hotel’s side on Las Vegas Boulevard
“Corona Beer presents the home of the champion,” proclaims the electronic mural and flashes a 25-story image of Mayweather and his upcoming fight with Maidana.
A livid Arum ripped the hotel at yesterday’s final news conference for Pacquiao-Bradley 2, calling Sturm, “the man who put up signs for the wrong fights.”
Arum said the prominently placed Mayweather signage, including the image on a busy intersection of the Strip, “had an economic impact on his event’s sponsors, especially Tecate beer.”
“Tecate pays a lot of money to promote their brand,” Arum told the Las Vegas Review Journal. “Every Maidana sign has Corona on it. That’s horrible.”
The competing signage is something for Top Rank’s lawyers to look at, according to Arum.
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Meanwhile Pacquiao remains the heavy betting favorite for the match Saturday night (Sunday in Manila).
At the MGM’s sports books, the money’s coming in on the fighting Filipino congressman. Thursday, he was up to a minus-280 after being minus-250. The gain on a Bradley bet has increased at plus-220, from plus-200.