Mayweather Boxing + Fitness, Los Angeles, on July 27 launched a domestic and international franchising program that company chairman and retired champion boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. hopes will see the boxing and fitness club brand open 500 locations by the end of 2023.
Qualified entrepreneurs are eligible to open a new franchise starting at $200,000, and conversions of existing businesses begin at $70,000. Mayweather, 41, said he is open to waiving franchisee fees to help existing businesses convert their facilities into a Mayweather Boxing + Fitness clubs.
Mayweather is the son of former welterweight boxer Floyd Mayweather Sr. Mayweather Jr. retired in 2015 with a record of 50 wins, 0 losses in the welterweight division, but he came out of retirement in 2017 for a pay-per-view match that he won in a technical knockout against mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor. For that match, Mayweather was guaranteed $100 million, although prior to the match he estimated he would get $300 million, according to a USA Today article. That amount, according to the article, is more than any player in the MLB, NFL or NBA ever has made in their entire careers, excluding endorsements. This year, Forbes ranked him at No. 1 on its list of The World's Highest Paid Athletes and Celebrity 100 2018, putting his revenue at $285 million, and noting that he earned $275 million from the McGregor bout. He also ranked No. 34 on the magazine's list of America's Richest Entrepreneurs Under 40.
Below, Mayweather shares his vision behind the Mayweather Boxing + Fitness concept—his first venture into the health club industry—in an exclusive Q&A with Club Industry.
Q: How does Mayweather Boxing + Fitness (MBF) intend to set itself apart from other boxing and MMA-related offerings in the increasingly competitive health club space?
Floyd Mayweather: Throughout my boxing career, my level of fitness was a big part of my success. I developed my own unique approach to training, and those techniques and routines are what now form the foundation of what we offer at Mayweather Boxing + Fitness. Our members get the benefits of my methods, both in the heavy bag workouts and through our cardio and functional training routines. Our methods provide the most effective and immersive class experience, based on my personal approach, and incorporate next-level technology to allow people to train smarter. Members wear heart rate monitors in class and track their progress and workout stats in real time. Our fitness app provides video content for in-home workouts so that our members can keep up with their training anywhere, anytime—plus it provides personalized training plans, connects users with our coaches and helps support our global community. To establish ourselves at the forefront of fitness technology, we have developed a virtual reality system that is available to our franchisees. This system enables members to get coaching from "Virtual Floyd" through a fully immersive and high-intensity interval training workout. Members can train wtih the virtual speed bag, heavy bag, work the mitts with me, and even step into a virtual arena and spar—all for a super tough and incredibly fun cardio workout.
Q: Why did you decide to make virtual reality training a centerpiece for the MBF?
FM: I wanted to be able to share my knowledge and techniques with everyone, so we developed this group fitness studio concept where hundreds of members at each location will be coached each day. Since I can't be at every workout throughout the world, VR makes it possible for virtual me to coach members, no matter where they are. We are also seeing an evolution in the fitness industry toward smarter training technologies and more immersive experiences. And, of course, we wanted to lead that movement. Our members experience what it’s really like to train with me in a one-on-one session, and we utilize that technology to improve their techniques, their fitness and the overall effectiveness of our offering.
Q: Will the VR training programs only be offered at select locations, or is the goal for VR to be a staple at all locations?
FM: The VR program is part of the core offering of the Mayweather Boxing + Fitness franchise model. All franchise owners will be able to utilize our VR system to enhance their business in a variety of ways—most notably as both a revenue driver, where members can pay for personalized VR training, and as a member acquisition tool by partnering with local brands for promotional events in their stores to source strong leads. We have been seeing exceptional member conversion at very low costs using these VR activations. The VR product also has local and global scoreboards, so members can track their progress and take part in Mayweather VR competitions, with prizes ranging from free gear to meet-and-greets with me.
Q: How did you develop MBF's core group fitness programs? What should a newcomer expect the first time they attend one of the workouts?
FM: We developed the Mayweather Boxing + Fitness program from my proven approach to functional training for one of the most competitive sports in the world. Throughout my career, I continually adjusted and adapted my regimen to prepare me for each fight, so that every time I walked into the ring I knew I was fitter than my opponent. Over the last few years, I have been working with my team to adapt those workouts to a group fitness environment—and, importantly, creating a program that is equally effective and powerful for everyone. This includes people who have never worked out to professional athletes. We make the studio welcoming, so people feel comfortable and excited to be walking in for the first time. We want members to feel like they are becoming part of a tight community—the extended Mayweather family. It’s important to me that our front desk team and coaches are friendly and high-energy—they’re throwing out high-fives and making everyone feel welcome. It’s the team’s job to make sure that members leave each session feeling great about themselves—they’ve all got to feel like champions.
Q: You previously said you were interested in opening clubs internationally as well as "traditionally underserved communities." Which markets specifically are most appealing at this time for MBF and why?
FM: We are not limiting our markets, and franchise opportunities are open to all areas. We aim to have Mayweather Boxing + Fitness studios in neighborhoods all over the world by having a flexible operations and pricing model to make it affordable to own or be a member in all communities. Group fitness has traditionally targeted higher-income neighborhoods, and we will of course be building Mayweather studios in those areas, but our offering is more accessible across the board—that’s something that’s really important to me.
Q: As chairman of MBF, what will be your day-to-day role with the company? What has been the most surprising or interesting part of transitioning from the headspace of a competing athlete and into this new role in the health club industry?
FM: Throughout my boxing career, I was involved with all the business elements. Now, it is interesting to me to apply what I learned in the business of sport to the business of fitness. Being able to take the brand I built around the Mayweather name and combine it with a highly effective group fitness model, in one of the fastest-growing segments in the industry, is a winning combination. I’m excited to be an integral part of the expansion of our global franchise network and will continuously help to develop new programming, determine the right strategic decisions, and market and promote the brand to ensure Mayweather Boxing + Fitness is always providing best-in-class experiences and support, both to our franchisees and to our members. I spent the last two or three years hand-picking an industry-leading business team—with years of experience in building successful fitness franchises and celebrity-backed ventures—to lead this company to incredible levels of success. I have learned throughout my career that hardworking, determined people are the keys to success, and I know that this will continue to be the case here.
Q: Can you share any major goals you have set for MBF?
FM: Our flagship studio [located on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles] was profitable within three months of opening, which was an initial goal of ours. We will constantly be improving and evolving our programs as our community of franchisees grows and technology advances. We have a rapid growth trajectory with plans for 500-plus locations to open within five years and see this as beyond realistic after the incredible response we have already received from franchise applicants immediately following our launch announcement. This is just the beginning of a new era for the Mayweather legacy.