Boxer Floyd Mayweather is renowned for his off-the-charts fitness level. While his opponents often tire during a bout, Mayweather appears as fresh in the 12thround as he was in the first. Mayweather is ready to reveal the secrets to his fitness success after he faces UFC king Conor McGregor Aug. 26 in the much-hyped fight set to eclipse current boxing records for gate receipts ($72 million) and pay-per-view buys (4.6 million).
Mayweather will launch Mayweather Boxing & Fitness with a training app next month where Floyd serves as the in-app digital trainer and will walk the user through his own workouts. The company’s flagship gym will follow in November focused on group fitness boxing workouts. Mayweather and his team are thinking big with plans for 200 gyms within 24 months and 500 in five years. The third component of the firm is a virtual reality in-home workout set to be unveiled in January.
Mayweather is chairman of the new company and will focus on strategy, in addition to providing the programming for the workouts. James Williams, who spent nine years at Bain & Co. and recently had his own firm consulting athletes on business ventures, will oversee day-to-day operations as CEO. Mike Melby, who is also part of the management team, helped transform UFC Gyms from a domestic operation with six facilities to an international brand with 250 gyms. Mayweather is the largest shareholder of Mayweather Boxing, while Williams, Melby and several others are also investors.
The first gym will open in Southern California. The plan is to rebrand an existing gym as a Mayweather Boxing & Fitness gym instead of building a new facility. The Mayweather group will partner with a handful of other gyms to rebrand, but the model will focus on a franchise and affiliate one. “The model helps us scale faster and reduce risk,” says Williams.
The franchise model calls for the company to collect an upfront fee on each gym, along with a percentage of annual revenue (Williams wouldn’t disclose financial terms for the franchises). Affiliates will be non-Mayweather branded gyms or studios that offer select programming at more affordable pricing. A Mayweather gym in an affluent area might cost as much as $140 per month but could go as low as $40/month in areas with lower incomes.
The international market will be key to the company’s success with a projected 60% of the business. Williams is talking to investors in several parts of the world where Mayweather has a large fan base like the United Kingdom, Australia and Middle East to sell territory rights that would require a minimum buildout of gyms in those countries. Williams says he will have several of those deals done over the next six months.
Mayweather, of course, is one of the most polarizing athletes on the planet with a history of domestic abuse and playing the heel in his boxing promotions. Williams says Mayweather’s authenticity will ultimately be the differentiator. “The biggest factor in celebrity businesses is the lack of authenticity. Putting their names on things that consumers can’t make a connection to,” says Williams. “With this, it is impossible to deny that Floyd is one of the fittest athletes on the planet and if you are looking for a better workout, there are few people on the planet who can give you that information.”