What does Jake Paul’s return to boxing teach the sports industry?

On September 12, boxing legends Mike Tyson and Roy Jones will have a fearsome eight-round exhibition bout in LA. Online celebrity Jake Paul will take on former NBA star Nate Robinson on the undercard. ‘Professional YouTube Boxing’ has sparked an enormous cultural shift for sport integrating its matrices into a global entertainment business. The collaborative project has drawn in millions of new tech-savvy youngsters to engage with boxing, transfigured the sports industries traditional marketing strategies and raised the profile of many other mainstream fighting talents. In this blog, you will discover how Jake Paul’s involvement in boxing will not only shape the future of boxing but the global sports sector.

Jake Paul is a multi-industry creator who has unified his identity across YouTube, sport, entertainment, and music with a net worth of $19 million. His role in YouTube boxing began on the undercard of KSI vs Logan Paul (resulting in a draw), a white-collar fight in August 2018 where Jake beat KSI’s brother Deji in round 5 of 6 on the undercard. KSI & Logan fought again under Matchroom Boxing in LA where KSI won by a unanimous decision.

Jake began his quest to avenge his brother’s (Logan Paul) loss against by fighting social media personality AnesonGib, on the undercard of Andrade vs Keeler card on January 30 for a chance to fight KSI. Jake was victorious in the 1st round , and KSI agreed to match-up to Jake which we’re still yet to see.

Each event that Jake fought on has increased the mass-market awareness of YouTube boxing. KSI vs Logan Paul received 2.25m online live views, and Jake’s bout with AnesonGib received over 3m+ views on the Sky Sports Boxing YouTube channel. It’s imaginable that once KSI vs Jake Paul is officially confirmed, you can expect to see social media reach for those involved hit new heights.

YouTube boxing has been successful from a commercial marketing perspective. It has turned boxing into a global campaign. Jake Paul and AnesonGib had a higher following than the rest of the Andrade vs Keeler card combined; Jake also leads as the highest followed fighter on the card of Tyson vs Jones jr across Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. Global sports broadcaster DAZN gathered 79k+ new fans to their streaming service from KSI vs Logan Paul 2. It has proven successful at garnering attention from audiences who typically would ignore the traditional art of boxing, where a portion of new demographics has now converted into long-term consumers.

Some of the downfalls about the movement include boxing experts such as Steve Bruce, and Andy Clarke discussing that nobody deserves a shortcut to be a pro, it’s dividing the sport’s reputation, and it is depriving ‘genuinely-talented’ fighters for a professional contract.

Both Paul and Robinson will destine to prove boxing experts wrong that they can bring more than just ‘commercial success’ and put on an explosive bout. Jake put on a respectable performance against AnesonGib in January; the American received credit for his ability on the backfoot, composure, use of jab and effective reach. However, Nate will make his boxing debut and has presented enthusiasm to showcase his athletic ability in the ring away from the court.

Personally, the sports industry should honour online creators to welcome an innovative theme of entertainment into its sector. Not only due to the commercial and brand value they offer, but the excitement and message they portray to their large-scale audience. Once you build a brand, there are no limits to what you can achieve despite your area of niche.

The future of sport can expect more industry cross-overs. Such as the ongoing growth of eSports, potentially more MMA & Boxing joint-events and maybe we can see an official fighters league for online creators and influencers while the market continues to prosper.

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Published by Ashwyn Lall

I'm a First-Class Graduate in Sports Business Management who has worked across Local Government, Sport and the Third Sector. Throughout my career, I've developed a thriving passion to promote sport being used as a tool to bring positivity to the world we live in. This ethos has inspired me to create a website which champions this value through comprehensive online content for you to gain value from. Join me on this journey of discovering what sport can do to enhance society.

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