Bringing boxing back to the big time with social video

Campaign: Content and experience management | Experience: Engagement and acquisition, Motion and immersive content

Cyclone Promotions, run by boxing legend Barry McGuigan, is the fight promoter for world super-bantamweight champion Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton. They wanted to create a brand, content and social strategy that would build buzz around the title fight between Frampton and challenger Chris Avalos.

For the first time in ten years boxing would return to primetime terrestrial television on ITV1 as Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton defended his IBF world title. Manifesto were brought in to develop a new marketing strategy to reach out to new, young potential boxing fans, ensure large viewing figures for the championship bout and start to develop a growing fanbase for Frampton.

What we did

We came up with an innovative strategy built around strategically-delivered, high-quality digital content. A six-week social video strategy would lead up to the fight, featuring weekly ‘Fight Camp’ videos showing the unfolding preparations for the bout to maximise exposure and build anticipation. These glimpses inside the world of professional boxing would reveal to the viewer the strict diets, the punishing training regimes and the sheer grit and determination required to be world champion.

Over the course of fight week we covered the spectacle of the public workout, the tensions of the final press conference and the organised riot that is the weigh-in. The time-sensitive content was filmed, edited and published within an hour to satiate the appetites of the now rapt fans as well as capitalise on, and fan the flames of, real-time social media conversations.

On fight night we drove online traffic to a ‘live-blog’, hosted on the Cyclone Promotions website. On-location in Belfast, we curated popular social content from Frampton fans, re-posted the best performing content from the six week build up and produced new content to keep fans in the loop as we approached the main event. Post-fight interviews with each of the Cyclone boxers, published on the live-blog and across Cyclone’s social media channels created a second screen experience to engage viewers of the main event on ITV 1.

How it went

The campaign reached 571,618 users on Facebook, generating 21,948 likes, 3,580 comments and 3,556 shares during fight week alone.

YouTube views soared to 162,229 with more than 450,000 minutes of video viewed on the platform. A solid YouTube and Instagram following for Cyclone Promotions had been built from scratch. The content also had an organic reach of over 80,000 users on Twitter – a population which nearly doubled the day after Carl’s victory. Altogether Cyclone’s Facebook and Twitter followers tripled.

Perhaps most pleasingly, the fight drew a peak audience of 2m viewers on ITV1 – nearly ten times the average audience drawn to pay-per-view contests – thrusting world championship boxing back into the limelight for UK sports fans and captivating a new, younger audience.

How this helps us on your project

We can help you identify your key audiences and the passions and drives that motivate them. By creating engaging content designed to tap intro those drives, and by delivering that content strategically via social channels, we can help you build your reach and prompt viewers to take action.


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