By Barry Janoff:
September 25, 2013: Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr. is considered the best boxer on the planet, and he pulled no punches when talking about his marketing, his brand, money and his place in sports history.
"In 20 years, I want people to talk about Floyd Mayweather the way we talk about Muhammad Ali, 'Sugar' Ray Leonard and Marvin Hagler today," said Mayweather. "It's not just the money. It's the history, the legacy,"
Still. there is the money. Mayweather's 12-round victory over Saul "Canelo" Alvarez on Sept. 14 earned him a guaranteed $41.5 million (but could go as high as $100 million, according to Mayweather's reps) and garnered a record $150 million (and counting) in revenue from 2.2 million PPV hits, according to Showtime.
The live gate at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas topped $20 million, according to industry analysts.
The Alvarez bout was part of a six-fight deal he signed with Showtime this past February that also will include an upcoming documentary, according to Mayweather.
The numbers were still being crunched even as he was making the post-fight media rounds in New York this week. The topic was Brand Mayweather — officially known as The Money Team, which includes hats and clothing tagged "TBE" (The Best Ever).
"Money" has been atop the Sports Illustrated "Fortunate 50" highest-paid athletes list for two years, and he is estimated to pull in more than $90 million this year. The number that stands out: He gets no money from endorsement deals because he has none.
"If Nike or adidas want to put a patch on my [boxing] trunks for 36 minutes, it would be a seven-figure number," said Mayweather. "But the brand on my back does not define my greatness. Nothing against Nike or Under Armour, but is a guy with [those] endorsements a better fighter than me?"
Not in this day and age, where he is now 45-0. Mayweather entered the ring with TMT as his sole marketing component. Alverez' trunks were laden with logos including Corona, food company La Costena, Mexico resort Riviera Nayarita, telecom company TelMex, Credito Viana and Under Armour (as well as Jalisco es Mexico, a reference to the region where he was born).
Corona, Valvoline, AT&T, Nature Nutrition, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Fred Loya Insurance and the Mexican Tourism Board joined with Showtime. Mayweather Promotions and Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy (which handles both Mayweather and Alvarez) to promote the fight.
"My brand is TMT," said Mayweather. "It is not about a [limited] endorsement. It is my brand. I have equity in it. It is long-term."
Mayweather tossed out other numbers — he bet $53,000 on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football (Sept. 23) and $220,000 on Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M against SMU (Sept. 21), both of which earned him some pocket money.
But the money and marketing of Brand Mayweather was more near and dear to his heart.
"At the MGM Grand, we sold out of TMT Money Wear apparel and hats twice," (with T-shirts were going for $35, hats for $70) he said.
Before speaking to a small group of media who had been invited to meet him in the MetLife Building's Vanderbilt Suite, Mayweather watched for what he said was the first time a replay of the Alvarez fight. Alvarez came in at 42-0-1 with 30 KOs. This was his first loss.
"I got to where I am by focusing on Floyd Mayweather, not on the fighters who came before me," he said. "I beat everyone they put in front of me."
Under his current deal with Showtime, his next four scheduled fights are May and September in both 2014 and 2015. The opponents are TBD. The financial payout will be high despite who he fights, although getting in the ring with Manny Pacquiao, which is seeming to be more impossible, but not totally unlikely, as the months pass, would out-earn them all.
However, he does seem to realize that his boxing career is nearing its conclusion. Which means putting more emphasis on Mayweather the businessman.
"To beat these young guys, who are 22, 23, 24, I have to take care of my body," said the 37-year-old Mayweather. "I still have a lot of fight left . . . maybe four fights, maybe six." But it's not all about boxing, either. "I'm the happiest I've ever been in my life," he said. "Me and my Dad are getting along, my mother is happy, my children are getting a good education and I'm healthy."
Healthy as in physically and financially.
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