BrandArena: Why Undefeated Boxing Champ Floyd Mayweather Jr Has No Brand Endorsements

Monday 4 May 2015

Why Undefeated Boxing Champ Floyd Mayweather Jr Has No Brand Endorsements

Floyd Mayweather Jr. versus Manny Pacquiao dubbed “Fight of the Century” may not have met the expectations of many boxing fans across the world but Mayweather aka “Money” remain an undefeated champ.

That “Money” has no product endorsement beyond his own extensive product range despite being ranked as the world’s highest paid athlete is no news to many boxing fans. But very few persons know why he has no endorsement despite been undefeated in 47 professional matches. Here is why: 

Experts say his reputation and history discourages sponsors from being associated with him. Mayweather has pleaded guiltily to domestic violence charges in at least three separate occasions, and he has served two months in jail for attacking the mothers of his 9- and 10-year old sons in front of them. He was also found guilty of the same charge in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

Mayweather also has some nasty mic habits, hurling racist and homophobic comments about other boxers, including Pacquiao. And unlike other athletes who work hard to re-gain the lost trust and affection of their fans when they get into trouble, Mayweather has never acknowledged or apologized for his transgressions.

"You can't deny people want to watch him, and people have been waiting a long time to see this fight. It doesn't mean you'll buy a product he's endorsing or believe him as a spokesman," said Bob Dorfman, editor of the Sports Marketers Scouting Report in a report by CNN.

"Would you buy anything from Mayweather?" asks Pacquiao's longtime trainer Freddie Roach in a recent report. "He's not the best person in the world. Manny has a much better reputation. He's likable. He doesn't lie. He's not a bullshitter. He is a holy person. He's really cleaned up his act quite a bit."

Despite this, he has reached that distinction solely through his in-ring earnings. For the weekend match, Mayweather reportedly earned an estimated US$ 120 million.

Interestingly, Mayweather seems to be everywhere – reality TV and documentaries, social media, music videos. His face is even plastered on the side of the MGM Grand where this weekend’s fight takes place. He’s the hometown boy. Yet regardless of where his fans find themselves they can reach out and touch (or even wear) brand Mayweather. The juxtaposition with Pacquiao, who outside of a few endorsements is largely unknown beyond boxing circles, could not be starker.

His recent opponent, Manny Pacquiao has sponsorship deals with Nike, Foot Locker, Wonderful Pistachios and Nestle's Butterfinger. The 36 year-old reportedly made $5 million in endorsement income from Saturday's fight alone.

For the record, Mayweather is the first athlete besides Tiger Woods to earn $100 million in Forbes' annual tally of the highest-paid athletes without any endorsements deals. 

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