Conor McGregor has gone from struggling to put food on the table to amassing hundreds of millions of dollars in career earnings – all in a matter of a few years. Fighting talent aside, McGregor has also leveraged his keen marketing intuition to propel himself to superstar status.

Since making his mark in the professional fighting world, he has never slowed down once. He continues to gain momentum and continues to shatter pay-per-view records, fight after fight. The media loves him, his fans are as loyal as they get, and there isn’t another personality in the industry that is on par with McGregor in terms of marketability.

That is why he will break PPV records once again come this Saturday when he faces off against Khabib!


He always has all eyes on him because he has never once failed to disappoint in terms of entertainment value.

Conor McGregor is a showman and his fans and haters alike know this. That is why all eyes are always on him when he has the mic or is the center of discussion. His fans are extremely loyal and don’t miss anything he is a part of, and his haters that despise him can’t take their eyes off him either.

He commands full attention no matter what he does.. good or bad, which translates into a marketing goldmine. His endorsement deals from brands like Monster Energy are more lucrative than any other professional fighter’s simply because of the attention he draws.

Most athletes receive deals based on their reach and audience, but not McGregor. His reach not only includes the entire UFC fanbase, but pretty much the entire general public, as everything he does commands national coverage. Being linked to McGregor or having a logo or product tied to him is a sure win in terms of impressions and exposure.


The Mayweather fight press conferences proved McGregor was a worldwide star.

Anything that McGregor is involved with will draw all eyes on him. When he was doing his press tour prior to the Mayweather fight, he was selling out arenas all over the world — not for a fight, but for a press conference. People we traveling the world following the circus just to see what he would say next. Such as..


It was a true indication of just how powerful his marketing and personal brand had become. Every event he did prior to the fight was creating even more buzz, which then led to more PPV buys, which he was receiving a piece of.

His star power gave him the upper hand when it came to negotiating deals, which is something very few UFC fighters have been able to match. Not only was he receiving record breaking guaranteed money, but his cut of the PPV buys is what contributed to a large percent of his payday, even after losing.

He may have lost the boxing match, but he won in terms of financial compensation for the event. While he trains hard to be the best fighter, he also knows his personal brand is also heavily responsible for his compensation, so he constantly works on that as well. Just like training in the gym produces results in the ring, his constant social media activity and appearances help him remain relevant outside the ring, and that is where his sponsors benefit the most by being attached to the McGregor name.



Then the bus incident took place (reinforcing his rock solid popularity).

Then, there was the infamous bus attack, which saw McGregor throw a chain into the window of a bus, and there was a huge legal mess that followed. There were reports of a warrant being issued for his arrest, reports of injuries from the incident and then a video clip surfaced and dominated celebrity news websites like TMZ.

The general public ate it up and watched it all unfold, but never once was there any concern over McGregor’s popularity or career.. anyone that thought there was was kidding themselves. Now, there were reports that UFC president Dana White was going to ban him from fighting or deny his next match, but everyone with half a brain knew that there is no way the UFC would let their golden egg slip away.. and this would only enhance the impending Khabib fight.

The UFC had to publicly shame his actions, but deep down you know that they were fully aware that even though it was negative press, it was only going to set the stage for the next event and help sell PPV buys. McGregor is a character that does what he wants and acts strictly on emotion. It’s what led him to the point he’s at in his career and it will never change.

Some may say the bus incident was scripted in order to draw attention to his next match, but it wasn’t necessary — McGregor creates a media storm no matter what. While it was unfortunate, both sides played it well and, in the end, UFC 229 will perform well, breaking PPV records and making both the organization and McGregor even more wealthy. They’ve used the footage now that was once deemed “the biggest disgrace in UFC history” to now market “the biggest fight in UFC history”.. hype and the money it brings trumps all!



The UFC 229 press conference is a prime example of ‘all eyes on Conor.’

Dana White referenced the press conference for UFC 229 as the “darkest” one he has ever seen, and you know he is smiling all the way to the bank while making that statement. McGregor didn’t disappoint, and although the event was media-only and not open to the public, he came out swinging. At times I did worry about some of the antics, but on reflection is was as always.. played to perfection.

With a bottle of No. 12 Irish Whiskey in hand, McGregor unleashed a verbal assault on his opponent, and in true McGregor fashion he showed his cocky side and left no guesses as to whether he was on top of his game.

He was a tad more aggressive and dark than in the past, but there is a lot of history here. He hit Khabib with very personal digs about his old sponsor and his comments about Russia, the mental warfare that he is renowned for but this time you could tell it was more personal. This is also the first time he is fighting someone that is also relatable and has the potential to amass a large following in the UFC with a solid record of Zero defeats. This approach was all mapped out by McGregor, he knows he needs to adjust his level of aggression to command attention for this fight and make sure all eyes are on him.

Just like with all brands, there is always going to be a new player on the block trying to take that top spot. There are only so many Coca Cola’s, Amazon’s and Google’s. In terms of professional fighters, McGregor is in that upper elite category, but even he must continue to innovate and disrupt in order to keep the attention on him, and this most recent press conference was an example of how he had to adapt.




Personal branding is responsible for McGregor’s ability to command $100m+ paydays.

McGregor reportedly collected more than $100 million dollars for his fight with Floyd Mayweather, and if it was just any regular UFC fighter squaring up against the boxing legend it may have attracted some PPV buys, but nowhere near the success they achieved by having McGregor as the opponent.

His personal branding is so spot-on that he can literally print money any time he announces a new fight. The promoter will pay McGregor guaranteed money that far exceeds any other fighter simply because they know the buys he generates will be record breaking almost every single time. He has built up such powerful momentum, yet McGregor is not stupid — he knows his window of opportunity is small — hence why he is taking full advantage now while in his prime.

He is capitalizing and breaking PPV records every fight because of three personal branding strategies that are universal and work for any brand.


1. There is never a shortage of content from McGregor as he has mastered social media.

McGregor has more than 26 million followers on his Instagram alone. He has impressive number across all his social media profiles, but let’s just focus on Instagram right now as it’s the most influential platform these days.

He has a good mix or personal picture, training images, and lifestyle pictures, and when you look at his captions you can tell they are coming from him and not some PR firm that is creating polished PC correct posts.

A true fan connects with his messages and has a genuine interest in the content he posts. The only commercial-type content are from projects he is involved with, further making his social presence more relatable.

If you take a look at his posts you will see that there are photos of him and his championship belts with almost 2.5 million likes and 30,000 comments, but there are also picture of him and his young son with nearly 2 million likes and thousands of comments, which show that his fan-base is interested in him inside and outside of the ring, which is a byproduct of his personal branding effort.

Some athletes are popular on the field, but outside of sports they don’t have a following. McGregor could retire from fighting and whatever path he travels down next whether it be Hollywood (very likely) or his new whiskey venture, he is sure to have a large following.


2. McGregor established himself as the utmost authority when it comes to mixed martial arts and fighting in general.

Personal branding can make you appear to be the authority, which you can then leverage to actually become the top name in your niche, as crazy as that sounds. You see, great personal branding can create an illusion — manipulating what people see, which contributes how they view someone.

McGregor established his authority by winning fights and also by becoming the biggest personality the UFC has ever seen. He knew that by being slightly over the top outside of the octagon he could combine that with his performance to create a larger than life personality.

It’s safe to say that he accomplished exactly what he set out to do. Most of you reading this are probably familiar with Tai Lopez, and the personal brand he has been able to create over the past few years. Just like McGregor, Lopez has been able to build a massive personal brand worth $xxx million in a very short window of time.

While they are in completely difference niches, their approach is similar. Lopez is over the top and leveraged it to create a personal brand that he’s been able to expand outside of his initial offering, which was a $67 course. Now he is selling courses related to real estate investing, crypto currency and social media marketing, among others. All of this was possible because he manipulated what people saw, to create the image he wanted.


3. Everything he says is backed up with actions — McGregor talks a big game and backs every word up.

Part of McGregor’s likability comes from the fact that he talks a big game and will shit-talk anyone, at any time. But, he always backs up his words with actions, and that is what fans adore about him.

Anyone can run their mouth and make claims, but very few are able to consistently back it up and deliver on those words.

This is something that every brand can learn from. While making claims is great, unless you can back them up, you are setting yourself up for failure and public ridicule. Imagine if McGregor ran his mouth but constantly got his ass beat or didn’t do what he said he would? His fan-base would be a small fraction of what it is now. Having high aspirations and goals is great, but you have to be sure you can deliver before you broadcast them to the world.




There is nothing more powerful and effective than a strong personal brand, and McGregor is an example of how quickly things can go from zero to 100 miles per hour when it’s all choreographed correctly.

He went from relying on welfare to being one of the highest paid professional athletes in a matter of years, and his personal brand (along with his skills in the octagon) are responsible for this transformation. It’s something that can be replicated in almost any situation, from an entrepreneur looking to build a following, to a new seo company looking to make waves selling SEO services.

McGregor’s personal brand is so strong that he is the fighter that comes to mind when the UFC is brought up. Even if someone is not a fan of mixed martial arts, they have undoubtedly heard of Conor McGregor and connect his name to the sport.

The UFC is a multi-billion dollar brand, and when the Fertitta brothers sold their remaining UFC stakes it was at a $5 billion valuation. Now, think of what that means to McGregor’s brand value for a minute. When a $5 billion dollar brand is mentioned, 95% of people will associate it with our wild Irishman, which is why the checkbook comes out every time he is inked for a fight.

McGregor’s personal brand is so strong that it’s directly contributing to the value of the UFC organization. That is mind boggling and so impressive at the same time.

Now, the final point I want to touch on is how McGregor is never content. After a fight he isn’t sitting back and relaxing.. even today I’m reading reports of him eyeing up his next big fight, after talking on the Ariel Helwani show last night.. mentions another Floyd fight, Anderson Silva and GSP. He is always straight back in the gym, training, and negotiating his next fight. You can never sit idle and ‘relax’ because if you do that, you allow your competition to creep up and invade your space. McGregor is a great example of how a strong work ethic combined with hustle and drive is impossible to beat.

There isn’t anyone close to McGregor’s radar — he is in a league of his own in terms of marketability, fan-base and value.

What do you think of McGregor? Are you a fan of the UFC? If you are not, have you heard of McGregor before? I’d love to hear your thoughts below, as his entire story is fascinating to me.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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