How Floyd Mayweather Became The Richest (And Most Hated) Athlete Alive


REPOST: This originally was posted in 2015

Floyd Mayweather will earn well over $100 million in his fight against Manny Pacquiao. In 2014 he was the highest paid athlete in the world, earning $105 million.  He will eclipse his 2014 total in one night.

What makes Floyd so special?  

He's arguably the greatest fighter of his generation, but there have been a lot of great fighters over the years, none of whom have attained Mayweather's level of financial success. 

It all started back in 2006 when he decided to:

1. Invest In Himself:

For the first ten years of his career he was managed by Bob Arum and Top Rank Promotions.  He was arguably the best pound for pound fighter in the world, yet he wasn't the premier fighter at Top Rank.  Oscar De La Hoya was "the man" because he sold the most tickets.  

Frustrated by his second tier status at Top Rank, he decided to go into business for himself.

In 2006, Mayweather turned down the highest purse of his career, $8 million to fight Antonio Margarita, and instead paid Top Rank $750,000 to let him out of his contract.

After splitting with Top Rank, Mayweather took complete control of his career.  He started staging his own fights and taking a percentage of the total profits, rather than receiving a large upfront fee, which is common for most fighters.

2. Give The People What They Want:

Now a free agent, Mayweather went to work creating a new image for himself.  People forget that while at Top Rank, his nickname was "Pretty Boy Floyd"...A pretty generic name used by dozens of other boxers named "Floyd" over the years.  

That's who Mayweather was prior to 2006: A great fighter without much personality.  

Once he controlled his own brand, Floyd created a new persona:  

Floyd "Money" Mayweather .  

Boring, generic fighters don't sell ticket, but villains sure do.  

He started trash talking and hasn't stopped since.  

Whether it's taking shots at his family publicly, threatening to beat up old broadcasters, or dressing up in a sombrero for his fight with Mexican superstar Oscar De La Hoya Mayweather has increased his outrageous behavior every year.

3. Own His Own Brand: 

The Mayweather-Pacquaio fight is expected to bring in over $150 million to Las Vegas over the weekend.

Rooms at the MGM Grand will cost upwards of $1,600 during the fight weekend and on Monday they will drop to their average price of $299.

Floyd earns a piece of every ticket sold, every beer drank, and every souvenir bought at the arena.  He gets a piece of every pay-per-view sale and a percentage of the worldwide broadcasting rights.

Mayweather is always looking for new ways to get a bigger slice of the pie.  In 2014, he got his promoter's license in Las Vegas so he wouldn't have to co-promote his fights with Golden Boy Productions.  Although he had a long relationship with HBO, and created the 24/7 series, he recently moved to Showtime because of a better deal.

When you watch the fight, count how many commercials you see Floyd in.  Unless it's promoting his Showtime shows or his pay-per-view you won't see any.

Mayweather doesn't have a single endorsement deal, yet has made more money than any other athlete alive.  

Sure he's one of the best fighters of all time, but he's also one of the great entrepreneurs.  There's only going to be one fighter studied at Harvard Business School, and that's Floyd "Money" Mayweather.  




MarketingTom WardComment