How to start a boxing promotion business
Photo by conorwithonen (Flickr)
The biggest names in boxing promotion have thrived based on their ability to generate buzz for their fights. Famed promoters like Don King may have worked in the golden age of the sport, but they used compelling matchups like Tyson-Holyfield to bring in millions of dollars.
An aspiring boxing promoter may want to rake in millions of dollars, but the road to fights at Mandalay Bay, Madison Square Garden and Atlantic City is difficult. Your boxing promotion business needs to start locally and expand gradually to gain the credibility needed to plan premier fights.
Complete a business plan that outlines each step needed to turn your promotion business into a juggernaut. Your plan should narrow your initial operations to specific regions and weight classes to avoid an unsustainable business model. Focus on five- and ten-year goals for your promotion business including annual profits, number of fights planned and the geographical range of your promotions.
- The biggest names in boxing promotion have thrived based on their ability to generate buzz for their fights.
- Your boxing promotion business needs to start locally and expand gradually to gain the credibility needed to plan premier fights.
Acquire a surety bond of at least £6,500 to protect your boxing promotion business from financial liabilities. A surety bond is required by most gaming commissions to place financial responsibility for poorly attended fights on the promoter rather than the venue, the fighter or the consumer.
Apply for a promoter's license from your state gaming commission to begin operating your business. The Nevada State Athletic Commission asks for a £325 application fee, two years of income tax returns, fingerprints from promotional representatives and a surety bond of at least £6,500.
Maintain a presence at every gym and boxing club in your region to develop relationships with boxers, trainers and managers. Take notes on promising young fighters with good back stories and top-notch athletic skills that can be used to promote your fights. While you may want to speak directly to boxers, you will need to contend with managers and trainers who are sceptical about the motives of boxing promoters.
- Acquire a surety bond of at least £6,500 to protect your boxing promotion business from financial liabilities.
Produce a list of local arenas, gyms and other venues that are allowed to host boxing matches under state law. Stay in touch with event planners at these facilities to find open spots for your fights that will not compete with other sporting events in the community. Your ideal venue will have a boxing ring, space for a few hundred observers and connectivity options for reporters and TV crews.
Reach out to sports radio stations, newspapers and local sports publications to get a media presence at your fights. Local stations and publications can pump up your fights to thousands of consumers in exchange for advertising and access to fighters.
Schedule a press conference and weigh-in for your fight that will create some suspense. The press conference should allow each fighter to speak about his skills as well as the reason why he will win the upcoming match. The weigh-in is an effective tool for showing the physical prowess of each fighter while gathering weight, height and wingspan figures necessary for boxing programs.
- Produce a list of local arenas, gyms and other venues that are allowed to host boxing matches under state law.
- Stay in touch with event planners at these facilities to find open spots for your fights that will not compete with other sporting events in the community.
Develop an advertising template that is stylish and reusable for each fight you promote. Your TV, Internet and print advertisements should feature images of the fighters as well as a catchy one-liner that will excite boxing fans. Look for a voice-over actor who can play up the dramatic angle of your next boxing match for radio advertisements.
- Plan compelling undercards to your fights that will keep fans interested until the main event. An undercard is a short fight before the featured match that is meant to warm up the audience. Look at the growing popularity of female boxing as well as matches in other weight classes to create entertaining undercards.
- Hire a medical expert to look after the health of each boxer under your boxing promotion business. Your doctor or nurse can take vitals, look at weights and observe sparring matches to determine if a boxer is healthy enough to fight. This step is important for a novice boxing promoter who wants to protect his investments and maintain the integrity of the sport.
Nicholas Katers has been a freelance writer since 2006. He teaches American history at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wis. His past works include articles for "CCN Magazine," "The History Teacher" and "The Internationalist" magazine. Katers holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in American history from University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, respectively.