BEVERLY HILLS, CA: Blaze PR has been named AOR for Mayweather Boxing + Fitness, a gym franchise company owned by boxing champion Floyd Mayweather.
Mayweather Boxing + Fitness CEO James Williams said the company had not worked with a PR firm since 2017. Williams did not issue an RFP and instead conducted an informal search, speaking to three firms before choosing Blaze.
The PR shop began working informally with the company last summer and was awarded the AOR contract in December, according to an agency spokeswoman.
"We have a fairly unique business and brand, with this being [Floyd Mayweather’s] business and having his ability to generate significant press," said Williams. "We wanted to make sure we had a PR firm that was able to capitalize on those opportunities and that's what we found in Blaze."
Blaze’s remit, he said, is generating awareness about the brand and the concept behind it, among "investors, entrepreneurs and the public."
The boxer has 70% consumer awareness in the U.S., which has translated directly to the growth of the company via paid digital, demos of the Mayweather Boxing + Fitness virtual reality program and local media outreach, Williams explained.
"One thing Blaze has done very well is supporting us when we have location openings," he added. "They’ve helped us when we have local news media come down. When you have a Mayweather gym opening up, the local press is really keen to cover that. We often have multiple news outlets at each opening."
Blaze will also help with the launch of a Times Square location for the gym in the next two months, Williams said.
"It’s a special location and we will be having a big event there with [Floyd Mayweather] hosting a VIP event," Williams said. "We anticipate a lot of media coming through it and it will serve as our East Coast marquee location."
Williams said he doesn’t expect Mayweather’s checkered past to affect the success of the company. The boxer has pleaded guilty to at least two counts of battery domestic violence, and has faced other similar accusations. He is also the owner of Girl Collection, a Las Vegas strip club.
"For us, this is about building the brand of boxing fitness," Williams said. "Whatever people think about [Mayweather] you can’t take anything away from the workout and his work ethic. When we look at franchisees and at members, that’s what they’re looking at; someone with 21 years at the top of the sport of boxing."
He added that consumers want to get in shape, so they "go to a place where workout is the best."
Mayweather announced he was retiring after beating UFC star Conor McGregor in a 2017 boxing match that reportedly won him $300 million. But last fall, the Washington Post reported that during an interview at one of his gym opening events, Mayweather repeated that he was retired, only to post to Instagram a few days later an image with the caption, "Coming out of retirement in 2020."