Global pitch challenges agencies to stop boxing's 'decline'

The International Boxing Association is in talks with agencies over a global PR account estimated to be worth seven figures in US dollars as it tries to stop the decline of the sport and become its "unifying force."

LONDON: The International Boxing Association is in talks with agencies over a global PR account estimated to be worth seven figures in US dollars as it tries to stop the decline of the sport and become its "unifying force."

Agencies have been shortlisted for the work, which involves targeting key markets including the UK, Mexico, the US, and Germany. It would require the winning firm to appeal to both boxing and combat-sports fans as well as fans of sports in general, with women as a particular target.

AIBA confirmed the pitch is taking place but declined to comment further. 

AIBA (the acronym is for its French name, Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur) is historically responsible for overseeing amateur boxing, but it is attempting to expand into the professional arena.

It is the only global boxing body recognized by the International Olympic Committee. Boxers can retain their Olympic eligibility if they compete in its professional competitions.

These include the World Series of Boxing and the AIBA Pro Boxing program, which AIBA describes as the "pinnacle" and is aimed at "reforming the sport’s structure in the long term."

The account, estimated by sources to be potentially worth about $1.5 million, involves raising awareness of AIBA and its competitions amid what the document claims is "strong opposition from pro-boxing sanctioning bodies."

The long-term objective of the brief, the document added, is "to establish AIBA as the ultimate governing body of the sport of boxing."

The agency search document claimed that professional boxers have "little control over their destiny" and are left "heavily dependent on promoters."

"The sport of boxing is today fragmented, and its professional side is run with the sole purpose of providing advantages and wealth to a selected few actors, for whom integrity is not a priority," the document states. "If the sport of boxing remains in its current situation, its decline in numerous markets, and as a mainstream media and entertainment product, will continue."

This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK.

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