Floyd Mayweather: Why "Money" Is Missing Out on Millions of Dollars

Kevin McRae@@McRaeWritesFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2013

Floyd Mayweather: Why "Money" Is Missing Out on Millions of Dollars

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    If only we could all be as lucky as Floyd Mayweather Jr. 

    Boxing's pound-for-pound king is coming off yet another dominant defeat of a world class opponent, and was named by Forbes Magazine to be the highest paid athlete in the world shortly after, having netted $85 million dollars from his fights against Victor Ortiz and Miguel Cotto.

    The amazing thing about Mayweather's money-making ability is that every dime of that $85 million has come from boxing. Unlike other sports stars such as LeBron James and Tiger Woods, Mayweather did not receive one penny from endorsement deals. 

    That's truly remarkable when you think about it. And it begs the obvious question of, why? For a person who has made himself into one of the biggest stars in sports, it would seem obvious that there is money to be made by slapping his name on ad-campaigns across the country. So let's explore a few possible reason's why "Money" is losing out on all these millions.

He's the Villain

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    A big part of what makes Floyd Mayweather such a smashing financial success in the boxing world has been his ability to cast himself as a villain over the past several years. His brash nature, which has included openly flaunting his wealth and disrespecting his opponents, is what fuels him to such high paydays when he steps into the ring.

    Just as many people tune in and purchase his pay-per-views for 70 bucks a shot hoping he'll get clocked in the mouth as they do to see him turn in another dominant performance. And they do it because of the image he has crafted. 

    So, if you've spent years delicately crafting this image, would you want to give that all up in order to appear on a commercial for The Olive Garden? Probably not, since it's this image that made you the highest paid athlete in the first place.

Boxing Doesn't Command the Audience It Once Did

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    A lot of attention has been paid recently to the fact that Floyd Mayweather was named the highest paid athlete in the world. But not much has been paid to the fact that the number two guy was also a boxer you've heard of—Manny Pacquiao.

    Yep, the two highest paid athletes in the world are boxers. Ahead of LeBron, ahead of Tiger, ahead of Beckham. Bet ya didn't know that. Kind of disproves the argument that boxing isn't what it used to be, doesn't it?

    Not so much. The only other boxers to make the list were Wladimir Klitschko, who clocked in at No. 24, and Miguel Cotto at No. 75. For contrast, the NFL produced 30 members on the list, baseball had 22 and basketball had 12. 

    It's easy to see how boxing doesn't command the star-power of these other sports.

Domestic Violence Doesn't Sell

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    We all know that Floyd Mayweather, despite his immense talents in the ring, has had some notable struggles outside of it. The most recent, and troubling, was the two months he spent in a Las Vegas jail last summer, stemming from a domestic battery charge.

    This is not meant to unfairly call out Mayweather for his struggles, as other entrants on the Forbes list have had their struggles as well, but it's hard to build a brand when you have a highly publicized history of domestic violence. 

    There aren't a lot of companies dying to line up behind someone with that profile, and you can call that unfair given the struggles of other highly compensated athletes with similar problems, but it's just the reality of the world.


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    When Floyd Mayweather Jr. announced plans earlier this year to fight two times in 2013, many were surprised, given he hadn't fought more than once in a year since 2007. With his May 4 date out of the way, the boxing world now waits to see who will get the next bite at the apple this September.

    It's great for the sport when it's biggest box office attraction gets in the ring as often as possible, but for advertisers it's hard to build a brand when your guy only fights once a year. That's a lot of time spent outside of the public spotlight.

    While it's true that other boxers such as Roy Jones Jr. and Mike Tyson have had similar schedules and still received endorsement deals, that was a different time for advertisers and for the sport of boxing.

He Doesn't Need Them

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    This might be the simplest explanation of them all. Floyd Mayweather simply doesn't need endorsements to make his money. With $85 million dollars in earnings from just two fights, totaling less than an hour of in-ring work, he seems to be doing just fine. 

    He doesn't need endorsements and is more concerned with building his brand in the ring and through The Money Team, than by hawking products. For some reason, it just doesn't seem to be something he'd be interested in doing and with the money flowing in without it, why bother?

    Putting it simply, while most athletes utilize endorsements to make more money, Floyd Mayweather simply doesn't need to bother.