The boxing match between Sen. Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner showed how sports and politics can mix after several viewers noticed the political advertisement during the bout.
A Philippine party-list, Wow Pilipinas Movement, appeared as the major sponsor of the welterweight match at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The party-list’s logo was on the ring canvas and in the corners.
These exposures drew flak from the public who found the “shameless campaign” disgusting and “politicizing.”
Some netizens also questioned who are behind the party-list since major sponsorship for a top-billed boxing match costs millions of dollars.
WOW pilipinas! kampanya sa VEGAS !!!!!!
— Tets (@kokokrayll) January 20, 2019
— Ariel Matias (@arielsmatias) January 20, 2019
According to the Certificate of Candidacy of Wow Pilipinas, these are the nominees:
- Bernice Marie Angeles
- Steven Anthony Relova
- Kerwin S. Valero
- Marvin H. Vallido
- Edzel R. Encarnacion
Based on the partylist system, groups seek congressional seats to represent the marginalized sectors.
In its website, Wow Pilipinas said that it is a proud sponsor of the Pacquiao-Broner fight.
It described its party as: “tourism sector partylist and advocacy for sustainable, quality and modern tourism development.”
“We endeavor to create and legislate effective, progressive and inclusive tourism initiatives so that tourism workers, professionals, service providers, entrepreneurs, businesses, and stakeholders can benefit from a robust tourism sector,” the party said on its Facebook page.
“In pursuing a wholistic and developmental approach to tourism, we are also a movement seeking to provide an enabling environment and basic social services (e.g. health, education, etc) which should result to the improved well-being of the communities and citizens in the tourism areas,” it added.
During the previous fight of Pacquiao against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015, Mexican beer Tecate, served as the major sponsor for the bout. Its brand was given the ring canvas exposure as well.
A report from Business Insider in 2017, said that Tecate shelled out more than $5.6 million (P295.4 million) for the single-fight sponsorship.
The report also mentioned that the asking price for the title sponsor costs $10 million or P527.6 million, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
Aside from Wow Pilipinas, netizens also complained about the appearance of former Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa who was behind Pacquiao during the match. He is running for senator in May.
Dela Rosa was seen holding Pacquiao’s belt after the boxing champion’s victory giving him a long television exposure.
Wow Pilipinas party list ad in the middle of the ring. Of course they’re going to politicize the fight. Bato was also in the entourage as MP was entering the building. #epalitiko #PacquiaoBroner @AsecMargauxUson @PinoyAkoBlog pic.twitter.com/P8sm9JJEMX
— Frank the Tank (@paltiq) January 20, 2019
The Commission on Elections earlier announced that the election period for the 2019 midterm election began on January 13. The campaign period for the national posts is slated on February 12 while for the local positions it starts on March 29.