On Saturday, August 26th living rooms, barrooms, man caves and vaguely homo-erotic boxing and mixed martial arts gyms nationwide were captivated by the highly-promoted fight between UFC Mainstay Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Whether or not the immense commercial success of the fight would inspire future mixed-format pairings remains to be seen. But garnering national attention is one event that the fight did manage to inspire, at a Mazda Dealership just outside of Sacramento CA.
Dave Mann Jr. and Rajesh Ahnman are the co-owners of Mann-Ahnman Mazda, the leading Mazda Dealership in Rancho Cordova. Like many businesses, Mann-Ahnman Mazda makes use of major events in popular culture to generate excitement among potential customers.
“From the Superbowl to Game of Thrones. The Election to the release of Taylor Swift’s new CD. Anything can be spun to generate excitement and revenue!” explains Mann.
“The Money Fight between Mayweather and McGregor was a no-brainer, “ Ahnman adds. “So, we came up with a plan where we would throw an elaborately-catered viewing party right here in the dealership, inviting only the customers who have bought from us in the past 30 days.”
With a $1,000 cash prize to be drawn, the dealership owners were certain that they had a perfect plan. It turns out that they did, as July-August sales increased by nearly 40% over the month prior and many customers stating that the party and cash prize were major incentives in their buying decision.
So, what’s next for Mann-Ahnman Mazda?
“Well,” begins Mann. “We’ve been lucky enough to form a partnership with none other than…”
“Wait for it,” interjects Ahnman.
“Conor McGregor…’s 3rd cousin! Twice Removed! And he’s going to fight everybody!”
“Just buy the car. Once the paperwork is finalized, you can fight Conor McGregor’s 3rd cousin twice-removed and if you beat him, you can get $5,000 off the MSRP of any new Mazda! That would score you a Mazda 3 for as little as $13,000 or an MX-5 Miata RF for around $26,000!”
“And all you have to…is fight a drunken Irishman!”
The quote-unquote ‘drunken irishman’ of which they speak is 61-year old Colin McKeown, a Belfast-born alcoholic and the alleged third cousin twice-removed of Conor McGregor. While the dealership is staying tight-lipped as to how they were able to confirm the validity of McKeown’s relationship to McGregor, the absence of validation hasn’t diminished the excitement of beating down a retirement-age foreigner.
Hector ‘Fingerbang’ Hidalgo is an aspiring MMA fighter in the greater-Sacramento area who also has his eyes on a new Mazda CX-5. When asked about the opportunity, ‘Fingerbang’ shared, “He’s an old man. A drunk old man. All I have to do is fight this drunk, old man and I’ll get a five grand discount out of a $24,045 MSRP? You’d have to be crazy not to take that deal!”
He certainly raises an excellent point. Who wouldn’t be willing to fight an elderly alcoholic, with the understanding that they get a new car for 16-28% off the sticker price?
When asked if he thought the response would be overwhelming to the financial security of the dealership, Mann’s offers an interesting response. “I think that deep-down, people are inherently good. With that in mind, I don’t think that many people would be willing to become violent against a defenseless drunk just to get a better deal on a car.”
“Absolute,” agreed Ahnman. “Which is why we’ll be strapping Mr. McKeown to a ravenous black bear during each of the fights.”
Once we had recovered from the immediate shock, we asked for clarification. Expecting a response that would diminish our disbelief, we would be disappointed. “No. You heard us correctly!” offered Mr. Mann. “We’re going to pump Mr. McKeown full of Jameson, and then ratchet strap him to an adult black bear which we keep in the basement. We’ve had him down there for months, watching old UFC fights while we fed him relatively small amounts of high-protein superfoods twice a week.”
“Yeah. He’s lean but strong, and definitely ready to fight.”
Fearing that this promotion had gotten a little bit ‘dark’, we approached the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce as well as the California Immigration Bureau for comment.
The former declined to meet with us, but did reply with a prepared statement commending Mann-Ahnman Mazda for creating a compelling marketing campaign to helps stimulate the local economy. The latter’s response came via the Dublin office and was less enthusiastic, and far more candid.
“Seriously? A fooking bahr? While we have obvious concern for every woon of the prospective Mazda buyers who might be inclined to fight Mr. McKeown (and the fooking bahr) fer a better dill, ahr primary concern is Mr. McKeown’s sefty.”
Upon hearing of the promotion, the California Better Business Bureau issued the following public statement.
“In light of the manner in which Mann-Ahnman Mazda of Sacramento intends to execute their promotion, we have reviewed our records to determine any precedent by which we can determine our position on the matter. In doing so, we have found countless tactics ranging from the odd to the absurd. A dealership might offer a free rifle with purchase of a truck. In 2008 KIA dealerships offered a free KIA Rio, with purchase of a KIA Minivan. A dealership might use an inflatable wavy-arm person to stand out to passers-by; maybe they use actor Gary Busey in a television spot. The possibilities are endless. We have read the legal paperwork which all participants must sign, and are satisfied with the manner in which said documents warn the potential of physical injury, impairment or death. Oddly, the same waivers were signed by anyone who wanted a photo op with Gary Busey, but that’s beside the point.”
Asking ‘Fingerbang’ if he still planned to fight Mr. McKeown knowing he’d actually be fighting the ferocious bear that the elderly alcoholic would be strapped to, he replied “Two Words: Superman Punch.”
(Note: Hector ‘Fingerbang’ Hidalgo died as a result of attempting to deliver a Superman Punch on an angry black bear. Mann-Ahnman Mazda was closed within a week, as a result of several pending lawsuits)