The age we are in is strange and tricky.
Whereas in the past athletes generally knew to try and not mis-behave, because they feared their public profile, and thus marketability, would take a hit, now, not as much.
Conor McGregor is just about public enemy number one, the sportsman who best exemplifies where we are now as a society, in how we treat athletes who transgress, or, excuse me, allegedly transgress.
McGregor dominates news cycles consistently, and not with all the charitable works he’s engaged in.
Scan the news…there is no shortage of stories to take in which touch on the hijinks of McGregor, which vary in severity and intensity. We aren’t making light, either; some of what is out there is quite serious and not to be joked about.
But, yet, it doesn’t look like his marketability is affected. Who among you doubts that if and when McGregor signs on to fight within the Octagon again, loads upon loads of persons will tune in?
Now, what percentage will be watching to root him on, and what percentage will be hoping that someone chokes him out? Doesn’t much matter…the number will be high.
With the news cycles being what they are, active almost around the clock, it takes something special to break through and make potential viewers stake notice. Well, that they do when they pay attention to the back and forth between the Irishman and Khabib Nurmagomedov who choked out The Notorious One when they faced off last October. You recall the interest level for that main event at UFC 229?
2.4 million buys….
And one would think a rematch, with the blood being even badder in the lead-up to a sequel, would be in that same ballpark.
No, you simply don’t hear people saying that they won’t watch McGregor again, despite accusations piling up on the man.
Bottom lining it, when McGregor fights interest is spurred. The top sportsbooks for UFC will do bang-up business whenever the next McGregor scrap gets crafted.
Now, one can wonder what this all does to a man’s psyche… McGregor is 2-2 in his last four MMA events, and he also was stopped out when he fought Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match.
Fair to say he’s not built mentally like you or I, so we can’t say for certain that having legal snafus stacked up on him distract him. But, if one isn’t a robot, how could it not?
Potential distraction aside, the law and order mishaps don’t seem to detract from his list of suitors. He teased on social media that he’d maybe be open to doing the WWE thing, following Ronda Rousey to McMahon-land.
And we wonder, what would he have to be accused of, or found guilty of, for the door to be barred for McGregor at WWE, or UFC, for that matter.
Yes, plain and simple, this is a new age, and truly, just about any press is good press, because it keeps an athlete relevant, and in fact, “acting up” can be a positive, because it forces people to take a stance on you. It makes people care about you and thus, they have an invested interest in your career and how the career plays out.
Bottom line: If you are thinking that maybe McGregor will calm down because he will get worried that doors of opportunity will close in his face…well, I think you might want to re-think that POV.
Bad behavior isn’t bad business anymore.
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