Why Mayweather Struggles For Product Endorsements


Boxing in general doesn’t have quite the global audience of sports such as football. However, the mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao was billed by some analysts as the “biggest payday in sports history”.

The massive amount of money made by both boxers came from ticket sales, the TV network’s pay-per-view revenue, and product endorsements. Mayweather did in fact have three sponsorship deals for this fight, Burger King, Hublot and Fan Duel but this is rare for him and only occurred because of the sheer enormity of this one specific fight. In today’s world of sports, it’s strange to have such a high profile athlete with no long term product deals, so let’s explore the reasons behind this.

Mayweather is a hugely popular athlete, what with his 6.2 million Twitter followers & 11 million Facebook fans and people are always excited to watch him fight. You would assume that big brands would be knocking down his door to make him a brand ambassador, but his reputation and run in’s with the law make it difficult for potential sponsors to associate with him. Mayweather has pleaded guiltily to domestic violence charges, and served two months in jail. He’s also been known to throw insults out to opponent’s that include racial slur’s.

Association with these kind of things is a big no no with major brands, they have spent many years creating their brand image, not to mention the millions of dollars spent. By associating with someone who has this line of history they could severely damage the way they are perceived by the public, which causes a knock on effect to product sales and it can be a long slow road to change the way people feel about them and what they represent. Now, there’s no guarantee that this will happen, but more often than not it’s just a risk that’s not worth taking.

In the case of the fight on May 2nd, it’s safe to assume that the excitement around the world was enough to take people’s minds away from the history and focus on the specific event. Meaning it was probably worth the risk. None of these brands signed anything to extend past the fight though.

These are the sorts of things that you have to bare in mind as a pro athlete. The friends you keep, the places you hang out can all have a major effect on your future. Without the support of sponsors or even clubs that you want to play for, you could find yourself slipping down the food chain even if you have talent. Of course Floyd makes enough money in the ring to support himself without sponsors but how many of you are making £116.5 million ($180m) for a nights work?

Always stay in control, you’re taught to stay composed on the field, court or pitch so take that into your personal life too. What might seem like a harmless night out with friends could lead to trouble when a lot of alcohol is concerned and as we know, if something bad happens the media aren’t going to let you off lightly.

Pro athletes are ideal for businesses to partner with. Athletes represent hard work, dedication, resilience, success, drive and many other positive traits which are great for a brand to align itself with. The audience watching are truly engaged which is what the sponsors rely on to get the most bang for their buck. You just have to keep in mind, sponsors will do their research and will enter into every partnership with extreme caution.

If you feel you may have a past that is effecting your chances of securing quality sponsors then maybe consider doing work in the community, became an ambassador to a charity & generally start to give back. So that next time someone in the board room says “I’m not sure if we should partner, he/she has a history”, the next person says “yes, but look at all the work they have done in the community since!”.

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