Slander = Marketing? Yes, but…

Next-level fight promotion, the attention economy, and the next generation.

Welcome to The Level Ups, modern business news for the future business leader (in plain-Jane English).

Let’s talk about marketing.

This year’s #1 fighter/promoter achieved massive popularity by posting pictures of his opponent's wife with other men.

Today, we cover:

  • The background.

  • Slander or great marketing? (Both).

  • The “attention economy” and how it works.

  • Why it matters to the rest of us.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes & 10 seconds.

Is this the future of marketing? For young people, probably.

Let’s get into it.


This is about two “boxers” and a fiancée caught in the middle: Dillon Danis, Logan Paul, and Logan’s wife, supermodel Nina Agdal.

Danis is a former UFC competitor turned internet personality. Nobody knew who he was two months ago; now, he’s internet famous.

Dillon Danis

Logan Paul is an influencer, famous for his history of antics and now for owning Prime Energy, allegedly sold $10M worth of bottles in its first two months.

The two of them have been verbally sparring for a while, but it’s (almost) time to quit talking and get in the ring.

Logan Paul

Their fight is scheduled for October 14th. Unfortunately, it looks like the “promotion” of the event on Danis’ part might have gone too far. More on this later.

But what does this have to do with business?

Let’s start.

Slander or great marketing?

The answer is both.

Nina Agdal on the cover of Cosmopolitan

People love drama. Except it’s not about California real estate or housewives in rich neighbourhoods anymore. Those are staged these days, anyway. “Reality” content isn’t “real” like it used to be.

But this is.

Danis has been posting photos of Agdal with Hollywood men (and we’re not talking 1 or 2. Try dozens) on Twitter/X. We're talking about:

  • Photos of them making out,

  • Mostly naked photos of her,

  • vulgar memes,

And so much more.

Trash talk between competitors isn’t new.

Going straight for the fiancée daily, saying, “Morning ☀️” with a half-naked photo of her is wild. See for yourself (we take no responsibility for what else you see on Twitter/X).

Yes, it’s too much. But, (there’s always a “but”).

It works. Really well.

Danis has garnered nearly 2.5 billion views on social platforms (in one month).

To put it in perspective, to pay Facebook for that many impressions across FB and IG, costs anywhere from $2.5M - $7.5M conservatively.

Most advertising campaigns earn 2 to 5 times the money they spend on ads. If he were a brand selling something, Danis could’ve been earning over $8M - $10M that month (all other things being equal).

All from posting explicit photos and videos of his opponent’s wife. It’s absurd when you think about it.

Do these numbers, and the money that follows, make it okay?

Is it a setup? The Attention Economy:

One would think that everyone is in on this and is “putting on a show” ahead of the fight to earn more money. That’s what I thought for a while, too, until recently.

Danis’ antics have gotten so bad that Agdal has sued him over the incessant trolling.

It’s very real and a problem. The fight itself may not even happen as other fighters are predicting.

But it’s not the first time brands have used wild tactics like this (though not as extreme):

  • Range Rover had a “spurned lover” spray paint “cheater,” “hope she was worth it,” and more on a brand new Range. An actor drives it around New York. The images and videos were shared across the globe. Staged.

  • Payless Shoes opened a luxury store on Rodeo Dr., called it Palessi, and sold bargain shoes for thousands of dollars to influencers.

  • The Pepsi Challenge (a classic) had people taste-test Coke and Pepsi, and “coincidentally,” we could guess who “won.”

Unironically, his opponent did the same.

Logan Paul launched Prime with another popular influencer, KSI, after all of the marketing ahead of their boxing match. Before selling $10M worth of drinks in 2 months, projecting $250M in the first year (amid regulation issues).

The conflict between Paul and KSI was likely staged. They started with a visible dislike for each other, got tons of attention, and turned that attention toward their new brand, which worked.

Is this the future?

You may not have known anything about this before now. I can understand why this may not be your top priority, as many of us have families, jobs, and lives.

Here’s the thing:

Prime (the drinks), these fights, and the “attention economy” are for young people. They buy those drinks, watch these fights, and care about the lives of influencers.

It’s like how we had a favourite actress, athlete, or author (a bit of a stretch) back in the day.

A recent survey in the US found that 54% of 13 - 18-year-olds want to be influencers when they grow up. Young people aspire to be like Dillon Danis, Logan Paul, and Nina Agdal (the influencer part, at least, if not more than that).

While Danis’ antics are extreme, this is what young people (to the degree that these are “influencers”) aspire to. Wild to think about.

We shall not discuss if Dillon is right about her because we don’t want to get sued.

However, we have to admit it’s a blurry line.

  • All of this is wildly entertaining (especially among the young).

  • This makes huge money.

  • It is extremely aggressive trolling (which is bad).

  • And we have to wonder if punishment will be handed out.

  • Because if it’s not, where does it stop?

Will brands become even more aggressive once they see it work here?

Something to think about.

Regardless, The fight is on October 14, we have not been paid to promote it, but I’m curious if Logan will get revenge (assuming it’s not staged).

Thanks for reading.

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