September 26, 2013
There are a lot of fighters -- boxers as well as mixed martial artists -- who aren't happy with what they make and openly talk about earning bigger paydays.
Floyd Mayweather Jr., who may earn close to $100 million from his Sept. 14 victory over Canelo Alvarez when all is said and done, doesn't have to beg for a bigger paycheck. Yet, Mayweather is still showing all of the other fighters how it is done, and few of them are picking it up.
Mayweather this week appeared on the Howard Stern Show and on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report." After a grueling promotional schedule for his Alvarez fight, it would have been easy for Mayweather to go on vacation for a few months and relax. Instead, he took advantage of the notoriety his big fight with Alvarez provided and worked at making his name even bigger.
He mentioned to Stern that he has three appearances at strip clubs scheduled this week, all of which will pay him $100,000. Not that appearing in strip clubs is a wise way to build one's profile, but that $300,000 he'll make for those three gigs is more than 95 percent of fighters will ever earn for a single bout.
This isn't the first time that Mayweather has taken alternative routes to increasing his profile. In 2007 after his career-altering victory over Oscar De La Hoya, Mayweather appeared on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." It seemed a strange move at the time, but it put Mayweather in front of millions of people a week for an extended period of time, helping to increase his name recognition. One of the large factors in a pay-per-view purchase is name recognition.
After he beat Ricky Hatton, he showed up in several WWE shows and wound up wrestling The Big Show at WrestleMania 24. It was yet another unique way to build his brand and increase his name recognition with a segment of the audience that may not have known much about him previously.
This week, after his much-discussed victory over Alvarez, which was covered nearly as heavily by the financial media as by the sports media, Mayweather again has turned up in unexpected places.
Not every fighter is going to be able to have those kinds of doors open to him or her. But, it's up to the fighter and his/her manager to seek out opportunities to market themselves beyond just the fight business. They need to be open and responsive in interviews and willing to spend many hours developing an audience, if they want to maximize their earnings.
It's not all about the fights. It's about brand building and creating a name, getting people interested in watching what it is you do. Mayweather gets it, though far too few of his peers do.