Logan Paul-KSI Follow McGregor-Mayweather Model For Fight Hype
For the past few years, the economy of YouTube has been built upon their content creators stirring up drama between one another. On Saturday, the height of YouTube hype leads to four creators taking their manufactured feuds to the ring following the same model as the 2017 Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather fight.
Ohio transplant Logan Paul will box fellow YouTuber KSI, while Paul’s brother Jake will fight KSI’s brother Desi on the undercard, from the Manchester Arena on YouTube via a pay-per-view.
The Paul brothers are two YouTubers who are known for controversial videos and childish behavior. The most infamous video being when where Logan (the elder of the two), showed a man who had hung himself in Japan’s infamous “suicide” forest.
Paul, was initially reluctant to take the fight initially due to the heat he took from the video which would lead to some of his content being demonetized by YouTube.
KSI prior to this showdown fought amateur boxer/YouTuber Joe Weller earlier this year with 1.6 million live viewers, and over 20 million people watching the broadcast after its initial airing.
“Obviously, your man’s got this belt right now and if any YouTuber wants it, you can come get it,” KSI said following the fight and receiving a championship belt made for the fight.
“Jake Paul, Logan Paul, and of the Pauls — I don’t care. Bring it.”
After constant call outs on videos and in person, the two would announce their fight on March 18th, with Jake Paul and KSI’s brother Deji on the undercard.
Following the McGregor/Mayweather playbook, a world tour of two press conferences in Los Angeles and London were done, with similar patter and displays of bravado were shown by both sides.
Unlike Mayweather/McGregor, the two would add vlogs and diss tracks, as most of the parties involved fashioned themselves to be rappers.
The quality of their musical content aside, the event has been produced with the same amount of hype and promotion that any major U.K. fight has had, including Anthony Joshua fights, where both men sat down with The Gloves Are Off host Johnny Nelson for a version of the program.
Similar to the reaction and remarks from those in the boxing and MMA communities in the lead up to Mayweather-McGregor, many in the YouTube community would comment and react to the announcement to get hits from the coverage and feeding the “drama beast” of YouTube the same way Mayweather and McGregor fueled the “embrace debate” philosophy of ESPN and Fox Sports 1.
“We’re thinking very deeply — and every single day — on how do we create the right incentives and disincentives for creators to do the right thing on YouTube,” Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s head of business, told Casey Neistat earlier this year (per Polygon).
“That means a lot of different things. That means do the right thing for advertisers, do the right thing for their users, for the platform organically, and not chase sensationalism; not chase views for the sake of views, and not chase drama for the sake of views — and not use drama at our expense for the sake of views.”
While Kyncl may have said that, with the fight airing on both KSI (18 million subscribers) and Paul’s (19 million subscribers) channels, on-top of a specialty channel dedicated to the fight (nearly 1 million), at a cost of $10 a pop, with secondary ticket prices going up to $650 on the open market, it is hard to argue against YouTube leaning in more to the world of the dramatic.
Even though the potential for success is high, with YouTuber Tana Mongeau’s chaotic Tanacon, and YouTube “prankster” FouseyTube’s “Hate Dies, Love Arrives,” event which falsely advertised an appearance by Drake and Snoop Dogg, the potential for copycat events or fellow YouTubers putting on these level of events can lead to more harm than good.
The fight broadcast begins on the respective YouTube channels, as well as a specialty YouTube channel built for this fight, at 12:30 ET.