If there's one thing you love, it's a good fight, and the best way to get front row seats to the best fights is to learn about how to become a boxing promoter. You saw Manny Paquiao's rise as he officially changed Oscar De La Hoya's career from boxer to promoter, and you've seen the antics of Don King, which rocketed him to become the most powerful boxing promoter of the 20th century. If you've ever wondered if you've got the stuff to make it as a boxing promoter, read on.
What you'll need:
- business savvy
- connections with fighters
- connections with venues, politicians and state athletic commissions
- ability to negotiate with media distributors such as cable television
- Study marketing and event planning. Before you jump into organizing and promoting fights, you should know that becoming a boxing promoter shares skills with any event promoter. Look for best practices across industries. Is fashion week doing something interesting you can cop to build an audience for fights you plan and promote? Does arena football or reality TV have some business practices that can help your events become more profitable?
- Meet and motivate the fighters. The center of your boxing empire will be the fighters and their skills. Talk to trainers, go to boxing gyms, and watch amateur and commercial fights-any activity that gets you close to fighters to understand their wants and needs should be on your roster. A good boxing promoter is able to show what he can do for his boxers, and understanding boxers is the first step to attracting fighters to your ring. Look to Rocky Balboa as a model boxer-a down to earth, blue-collar work ethic goes a long way in working with aspiring champions.
Build your stable. Once you have connected and built a managerial relationship with one fighter you will be able to bring in other fighters. Remember that the quality you have is the quality you will attract. If your first fighters are average, it may be difficult to overcome that as you try to draw new fighters to your team. It may be helpful to build a "brand" rather than promote under your name as the Don Kings of boxing have largely given way to organizations like 8 Count Productions and Golden Boy Productions.
- Negotiate with managers. The biggest fights pair fighters under different management. A great boxing promoter negotiates pairings between fighters matched in skill that promise an exciting fight for audiences. Nobody wants to watch the same-old fights, so mixing it up is important.
Gladhand the politicians. A boxing promoter needs to be aware of regulations on boxing, and maintaining relationships with politicians is an important part of promoting. Legislation could enhance or end a boxing promoter's career, so staying involved in governance of the sport can set you up for a long career.
- Connect with cable. Boxing promoters can significantly increase income for their fighters and themselves through promoting broadcast through pay-per-view and cable channels that broadcast the best fights. If you can secure television audiences for your fighters, you are set. Don't overlook this aspect of promoting, as many promoters have tried and failed, or have seen sliding audiences for their fights.
- Manage expenses. To make it as a boxing promoter, you've got to take a lot of money in, but you've also got to put a lot of money out to keep the energy going and your stakeholders invested. A promoter has her hands in a hundred areas at once. You've got to make sure you manage them all so you and yours stay profitable.
You see the lay of the land. Becoming a boxing promoter is a lot of work, but it can be an exciting and challenging career. Your management could make or break a boxer's career, could revitalize boxing in an area where it is in decline, or could impact the future of the sport. Train hard, stay nimble, and like a boxer, keep up your guard.