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For 200 years, boxing has been one of the world’s favorite sports attractions. Throughout the world, the sport brings great anticipation, excitement, and entertainment to its viewers. All of this is generated by a professional who knows what the people want to see, and who makes it his business to know the skill levels of the various fighters who, when they make their way into the ring, can draw the most attention and cause the crowds to gather and become the anxious viewers for the big fight night.
The promoter —an intelligent businessman or businesswoman who is an expert in generating interest in sporting events – does exactly that…pairs two fighters, schedules a match, and then puts the word out to create a buzz on social media, television, radio, etc. for the match to be watched by millions of people in many countries across the world.
For starters, once a fight is officially planned, the promoter must be confident and dedicated to his plan to make one night a night to remember. There are various ways of getting the word out, and they vary widely in method as well as in cost. For instance, many promoters use guerrilla marketing: flyers, flash mobs, internet, and street art. These methods are typically done at a relatively low cost. But other much more expensive methods include TV ads and billboard signs.
In the industry of boxing promotions, there’s only one man who stands above all the rest. His name is Don King. As one of the most notable promoters of all time, he coined the phrase “Only in America”, and has been successful in promoting fights for some of the most famous and successful fighters of all time, such as Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, and Mike Tyson. Being a boxing promoter was only part of his act. Don King quickly became an American icon after his successful promotion of the Muhammad Ali vs. George Foreman fight in 1974. Some say a promoter gets as much exposure as the professional boxers themselves. There are interviews, special guest appearances on talk shows, radio stations, and even celebrity parties. Don King had all of that and more. He would later star in movies during the Mike Tyson era. King starred or was reflected in movies like: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, Rocky V, Devil’s Advocate, and The Great White Hype.
Promoters often advertise their brand as a result of their own individual personalities and functions they host, marketing the events under a consistent name. Not all promotions stop when fights are not in the making. Even during the “offseason” so to speak, promoters are still building their brand to a point where one tweet or poster can either establish charisma or ignite controversy throughout the world; either way, they’re still creating their brand. Promotion has been an underground industry, with companies operated by one or several well-connected charismatic individuals, often working part-time.
However, the growth of boxing promotions continues to build, most notably Golden Boy Promotions founded by East Los Angeles native, Oscar De La Hoya. He has signed numerous fighters under him. Two of his fighters recently contended for a championship belt under the Floyd Mayweather vs. Marcos Maidana II fight in September 2014.
At the end of the day, promoters need to hold a neutral position to ensure that the fight itself is advertised and promoted fairly for both parties although that can be difficult because one of the fighters could be signed to that promoter’s organization. Boxing promotion is important to the sport itself and is a big contributor to the success and popularity of the sport today.
Hernandez, Josuee. “Best Promoters in the History of Boxing.” Bleacher Report. Turner Sports Network, 16 Aug. 2011. Web. 30 Sept. 2014
“Don King”. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2014. Web. 07 Nov. 2014
Golden Boy Promotions – About Us. Golden Boy Promotions – About Us. Golden Boy, n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2014.
“Don King (boxing Promoter).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 11 June 2014. Web. 30 Sept. 2014.