Jeff Horn - The Sunday Mail
2018 Finalist

Jeff Horn - The Sunday Mail

News Corp Australia - The Sunday Mail, Queensland

Brisbane, Australia

Category Events

Media associated with this campaign

Overview of this campaign

The objective was to help deliver Australia  a new world boxing champion while at the same time enhance Queensland's reputation as an international events drawcard. All this, while progressing the Sunday Mail brand significantly though incremental advertising, big Foxtel pay-per figures and an acknowledgement that the newspaper remains the state's most influential media vehicle. Make no mistake, this event would not have happened without the Sunday Mail's backing. The Horn-Pacquiao fight is now being used as the template for an expanded events strategy by the Queensland Government, which doubled its events budget to $60 million in 2018-19. The Horn-Pacquiao fight was judged the number one moment in Australian sport in 2017 by the Australian Press Writers' Association. Horn has received the 2017 Don Award, the highest recognition for any Australian sporting athlete. He also won the ESPN award for best fight of 2017. The Queensland Government was re-elected on November 25, citing the fight as one of its key re-election strategies. The campaign's objectives strike very much at the heart of what a good newspaper should aspire to, championing its community through lobbying for policies that make Queensland a better, more prosperous place to live. It is also about instilling community pride. Horn is now one of the state's best known people. He enjoyed a ticker tape parade through the heart of Brisbane soon after the fight, attracting tens of thousands of well-wishers. Horn, who was bullied at school and that's why he took up boxing, is now a fierce anti-bullying advocate and through the pages of the Sunday Mail we have launched a campaign to help address this growing problem. Put simply, the Australian newspaper industry has never seen a brand-enhancing campaign like the Sunday Mail's Horn v Pacquiao coup. It ticked all the boxes - extra company revenue, community pride, a massive boost to local tourism and of course cementing the Sunday Mail as a major influencer of government policy.




Results for this campaign

The results of our campaign were extraordinary on every level and can be broken down into two categories - the benefit to News Corp and the Sunday Mail as brands and the stimulus to the Queensland economy, of which the Sunday Mail is a major stakeholder. From a purely content perspective, the Sunday Mail broke all the big stories relating to the fight, including the announcement that the event would happen on July 2, 2017 and the TV broadcast would go to 168 countries. Incremental advertising revenue for News Corp was $1.23 million, while it was $556k for the Sunday Mail alone. Foxtel (a News Corp subsidiary) pocketed $4.12m in pay-per-view, all incremental benefits. Our website ( and social media figures on the day of the fight were astonishing.  These included nearly half a million unique visitors, while the live blog of the fight was getting 6500 hits per second. Our SEO strategy to promote the fight was the template for future big sporting events. Our Sunday Mail circulation spiked by 16.6 per cent on the day of the fight (an extra 36,893 papers) while the Courier Mail's circulation the day after the fight went up 14 per cent. From a community perspective, the fight delivered an extra 31,000 bed nights in Brisbane for that weekend, many of them Filipinos who had travelled to Queensland to see the event. An estimated 500 million viewers watched the event, producing about $215 million in international media exposure * (Queensland Tourism and Transport Infrastructure estimate). More than anything, the Horn v Pacquiao event put the international spotlight on Queensland and showed the government the way forward as it prepares to compete with Las Vegas, Tokyo, London, New York and Paris for big international events. On the back of the confidence of hosting this event and the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April, 2018, Queensland is gearing up for an Olympic Games bid in 2032.  


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