Mayweather Boxing + Fitness is ready for franchisees, gym members and at-home exercisers worldwide to engage together and get fit using their cutting edge, global sports technology platform. The Sports Techie community blog chatted with James Williams, the Mayweather Boxing + Fitness CEO, about Floyd Mayweather’s legacy business as the world’s greatest boxer, if a 21- year and 50-0 career record has earned him the GOAT status as many fans, fighters, trainers and boxing experts, all agree on. This immersive training uses virtual reality (VR), an app and heart rate monitoring, in addition to Mayweather’s proprietary workout programs and routines never before shared with the public, to offer killer workouts to all levels of athletes, weekend warriors and beginners alike. Floyd assembled a top notch team to help him roll out this one-of-a-kind, fun, licensed boxing group fitness studio. The brand equity in “Money Mayweather’s” name is the key component to the success of this franchise endeavor.
Advanced Tech and Champion Boxing Pedigree
The VR headset sessions at https://www.mayweather.fit/vr, smart ED screens and daily workout videos of class-based boxing combined with functional training classes using tracked heart rates are unlike anything on the market. Floyd is featured in the VR experience as a virtual coach, teaching and encouraging how to box and punch combos as well as letting users know when their effort is not enough when they perform his high-intensity exercise routines, or 12 week program that enabled him to dominate professional boxing from 1996 through 2017.
The Mayweather + Boxing VR and workout library has an in-gym membership fee for unlimited workouts. At-home VR training is not yet available.
“The VR is not photo realistic” said Williams, as motion capture technology was not used to develop Mayweather’s likeness. A HTC Vive VR wired device is used because it easily tracks movements and can handle a large amount of data flowing back and forth while using the two handsets to punch, jab or counter.
Each VR user has a personal profile and scoreboard. The plan is to feature fitness competitions where whoever scores highest in a VR game across the network gets to fly to LA to meet Floyd. The concept is to build competition within each studio. VR presales are doing well. A franchise can hold 3 months of sales in advance of an opening. The VR helps a franchisee get their clients excited. Using the VR to activate gym memberships at say a Lululemon store during a weekend event is a successful business partnership model. The VR-centric event increases the amount of people inside stores and gets them talking about the gym. Williams feels VR is an immersive way to engage with users.
The Mayweather + Boxing app is available for free at the App Store and Google Play. It allows users to exercise at home and in the gym via a monthly or yearly subscription model, with the app’s full version launching in December. The app is another way to bring the community together even if there is no gym in the area through jump rope, shadow boxing and other interactive cardio programs. Williams says a 20-minute workout can burn more than 300 calories.
Much of the necessary software programming in done either in-house or through some consultants, it is all managed in-house in Los Angeles.
Mayweather won world championship belts in five weight classes including becoming the WBC super featherweight, lightweight, super lightweight, welterweight and light middleweight champion. He also captured the IBF welterweight, WBA (Super) welterweight, WBO welterweight, and WBA (Super) light middleweight championships. Mayweather added four lineal titles to his amazing boxing resume. Retiring undefeated at 50-0 is perhaps his greatest overall feat. Floyd is said to have earned or be worth $1 billion. Williams shared that Mayweather’s earnings came as a result of no major sponsorship or true endorsement deals during his career because Floyd was all about boxing.
The Dream Business
As CEO, Williams is responsible for overall strategy and day-to-day operations. He is a corporate lawyer from the UK who learned his craft in both London and New York. James later worked at Bain Consulting for eight years then returned to get his MBA at Wharton Business School in 2010. Williams has worked with athletes and entertainers, taking his skillset to build brands. He says Floyd is the best caliber of athlete with a superior business acumen and work ethic. James wanted to lend his help with this fantastic opportunity so they built the Mayweather + Boxing team together.
He explained how Floyd wanted to be the owner of and shape the path of something he could mold much in his own image. So about 5-years ago this dream business started as a simple concept. It began with two drivers – authenticity and connecting consumers but they needed the right management team behind them to make it so. To make the brand come alive in the fitness space, they planned to integrate the use of tech and stay ahead of the curve, utilizing technologies differently than other clubs all while focused on building a tight-knit community of fitness junkies. Another fact to consider is Subway franchises and other fitness brands were not built under a person’s name as Mayweather + Boxing is doing.
Williams shared what they look for in a franchise owner, it involves a threefold criteria. First, they look at the financial requirement, an interested party needs to have at least $300,000 in net worth. Second, they need to possess operational experience in business ownership and management. This gives Mayweather + Boxing confidence the person can represent the brand and build out the gym. Third, owners need to pass the health and wellness check. Can they have members leave with a smile? Because it is a legacy brand, franchisees need to be run by hardworking and dedicated people. This quantitative criteria will ensure success for all.
L.A. is where the flagship facility was launched. The first franchise launch just happened in Tampa where some 400 members bought in during pre-sales. Unfortunately, Floyd was abroad at the time and was unable to attend but did Facetime with members much to their delight. Ideally, Floyd will assist in person with Mayweather + Boxing grand openings. He is based in Las Vegas.
I asked how much Mayweather knows about technology. Williams responded, “Floyd invests in it (tech), understands how the industry evolved and drives us to focus on the experiences.”
In terms of marketing, Williams said, “The majority will be digital advertising through Facebook, Instagram and Google ad words.” The group fitness space is perfect because consumer awareness of Mayweather is so high; nearly 70% of people know who he is. Ads are effective because of this awareness. He’s not seen a lower cost per click and cost per lead pricing structure in any other franchise opportunity.
Williams emphasized how Mayweather + Boxing is a private company that has undergone tremendous speed of growth, it’s the fastest growing youth fitness franchise ever, while offering the best experiences, making it a business combination you don’t want to miss out on as a potential franchise-owner, gym member or at-home participant.
Sports Techie, look for more sports tech addition such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality as industry leading companies query Williams as to how to get their products and solutions integrated into the platform.
I asked Williams if Floyd is giving back to boxing though this unique business. Williams said it is separate from boxing and solely in the fitness industry. Mayweather + Boxing Fitness does offer at risk youth a life changing fitness program that is 6 sessions over 6 weeks, 3 days a week, combined with 2 days of life skills. He offers an hour of boxing and fitness training allowing the kids to learn from where Floyd came from, put in the hard work and dream big like he did.
My cousin lives in Las Vegas and his wife is the CFO of a local car dealership that Mayweather is known to frequent sometimes at 3 am to look at the Lamborghini’s and Ferrari’s then purchases in cash. It is a true story says Williams.
A Midtown Atlanta gym is set to open in February, 2020. Williams said he wants to invite me to a workout session on the VR headset. How can I say no!
How can you say no to Mayweather + Boxing?
Chances are high, you cannot nor will not.
See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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