Sleep has been a little elusive lately. Working nights will do that to your body clock I guess. I woke at about 3 am this morning and decided fuck it – get up and make some coffee. As the kettle boiled I had quick flick through my twitter feed and Lo and behold it would seem Conor McGregor’s Proper No. 12 Whiskey made it back to the supermarket shelves just in time for Christmas.
Fans of McGregor will understand that Conor has had only one problem with regard to his whiskey enterprise. Keeping the fucking thing stocked on shelves. About a week after the Khabib fight he had to publicly apologise for not being able to meet demand. Oh that any other new brand would have such a problem!
Whiskey Critics (apparently that’s a thing) have gone out of their way to trash Proper No. 12. A little snobbery perhaps but it matters not a jot. One must remember that he has this product priced very, very low. In the States it’s roughly selling at about 29 bucks a bottle.
One of the craziest benefits of his fame in relation to building whiskey sales has been the sheer number of fans that have been taking pictures of themselves with their new $29 bottle of No. 12 and posting it on social media. Basically advertising the product for him. Normally a new brand in this market would require millions and millions in marketing spend and still most likely fail.
I mean let’s face it there were easier ways for Conor McGregor to make 40 or 50 million dollars for himself off the back of his name. A range of McGregor T-shirts and/or other fashion items and accessories could have easily met a 29 dollar price point. And sold a shit tonne.
The fact he chose whiskey and an affordable price point has parallels to his path to the top of the heap in MMA. It shouldn’t work, it couldn’t work and yet it has fucking worked. I mean if he lined up every marketing guru in the world in a room and said
” Give me an idea that will make me a 9 figure turnover” almost none of them would have said Whiskey. ALL of them would have said ” And definitely not cheap whiskey.”
That is not even mentioning the fact it is a product that his mountain of fans under 18 or 21 cannot legally buy.
The main lesson I am learning after his second professional defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov is that Conor McGregor is now bigger than anything that happens to him in the Octagon. His fight record and two defeats in the UFC are no longer critical to his image.
If 2017 was about about Mayweather. 2018 was a Bell-weather. 2019 will be again about business but mainly developing his business interests outside of the cage. I imagine all fights will be chosen with that in mind.