HOW WE GOT BOXING BACK ON ITS FEET

In early 2015, RIVAL stepped into the ring for three months to help create Premier Boxing Champions. For the first time in 30 years, professional boxing was returning to primetime television on NBC and it needed a brand, fast.

In fact, it needed more than that. The entire sport needed a reboot.

Brand Strategy
Web Design
Logo Design
Brand Voice
Video/Motion/3D

The PBC logo was designed to be flexible, allowing each network to put a spin on it without compromising its distinctive look.

THE FIRST 90 DAYS

The Premier Boxing Champions brand needed to duck the unsavory reputation that drove boxing from the air in the ‘80s while keeping a safe distance from the gladiator-style combat sports that took its place.

We drew upon the rich history of boxing to show fighters in a refined and classic style, emphasizing strength, athleticism, and the timelessness of the gentleman’s sport. This elegant look and feel nodded to a golden past while heralding boxing’s even brighter future.

"RIVAL defined and maintained the Premier Boxing Champions brand, keeping it consistent and effective across multiple networks, markets, and demographics."

Our complete Premier Boxing Champions brand guidebook included a logo, tagline, video and photography treatments, voice and tone, plus all the rules for using them.

The style we established was applied across hundreds of assets in preparation for the brand’s first high-profile event—a fight live on NBC primetime.

At the start, we alerted millions of viewers to boxing’s return through the brand’s first off-network TV spot, garnering nearly a million views on YouTube alone in the two weeks leading to the event.

Others learned of Premier Boxing Champions from the radio spots we wrote and produced that were played on SiriusXM and stations in every major market across the country. 

Meanwhile, the Premier Boxing Champions brand was everywhere: on video screens in New York City’s Times Square and on Port Authority Bus Terminal, as well as on buses and billboards in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York, and Las Vegas.

In print, the brand appeared in periodicals, including on the back cover of Sports Illustrated, in a double-truck display in ESPN Magazine, plus as full-page spreads in the New York Daily News and USA Today. 

Our presence was also felt online, where we provided design and copy for the Premier Boxing Champions website, as well as designing and building a site for world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.

At the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, our work lit up gargantuan outdoor displays, took over the sprawling lobby, and led crowds through the casino, appearing on room keys, banners, light displays, gaming tables and slot machines, as well as all over the arena and in the squared circle itself. 

Premier Boxing Champions debuted on NBC primetime March 7th, 2015, with an average of 3.4 million viewers, making it the most-watched professional boxing broadcast in 17 years. During the telecast, viewership increased every half hour, peaking at 4.2 million and winning the adults 18-49 Saturday primetime slot with a 1.08 rating among the demographic.

The trend continued with the second event, staged on SpikeTV March 14th, 2015, from Citizen’s Bank Arena in Ontario, California. These fights averaged 1 million viewers, with a peak of 1.2 million, while running against the ACC conference tournament game between Duke and Notre Dame on ESPN. 

THE MOMENT

We crafted The Moment campaign to build and maintain the PBC brand’s momentum. Intended to showcase pivotal moments in PBC bouts and connect them to boxing history, The Moment campaign’s touch points included web, TV, and social media, as well as celebrity and live audience participation.

The Moments campaign was created with fan participation, whether from home, via social media, or at the live events, at its heart.

BECOMING PBC

Finally—with the boxing world abuzz and fights scheduled for multiple major networks, now including NBC, CBS, SpikeTV, ESPN and ABC, for at least the next two years—we began the transition of the brand’s name from Premier Boxing Champions to PBC.

In years to come, when people sit down to watch great boxing—thanks to only 90 days of RIVAL guidance—they’ll turn on PBC.

The Battle in Brooklyn hit the streets with these wild postings created for the April 11, 2015 Premier Boxing Champions event.

As the brand solidified for fans, RIVAL guided the transition from Premier Boxing Champions to its more memorable acronym.

Thanks for support, assistance, and inspiration are due:
PBC and Ryan Caldwell, Michael Marto and Executive Visions, Reality Check Systems, Bruce Binkow and Integrated Sports, NBC, ABC, CBS, ESPN, SpikeTV, VML/Cavalry, particularly Stephen Cook and Jeremy Schutte