I often get questions asking if it’s easy to host a profitable boxing event like I did with the Holmes v. Butterbean fight at the Norfolk Scope Arena back in 2002.
The short answer: it isn’t. Boxing events are huge investments, and it’s not uncommon for promoters to lose money from fights. In fact, few actually get to the point where they’re making enough money to focus only on promoting. Make no mistake, it’s not for the faint of heart. That said, what are some good lessons out there for would-be promoters looking to up their game?
First off, keep most of the focus on the local venue. When I promoted the Holmes v. Butterbean fight, I relied on local coverage and ads on where the fight was taking place because that’s where the majority of my audience was coming from. Focusing local also has an added benefit: the location of the event can help you promote, since they want the seats of the event you’re hosting to sell out too.
Second, fill seats with fans, not bodies. People feed off the energy of others in events like this, as emotional contagions tend to do to. This is crucial because promoters often look at the numbers of people not attending, without considering how many of those attendees are actually fans. If you give away tickets in an attempt to fill seats just before the event, you’ll do two things. One: people who paid significantly more to attend this event will be burned, and two: a lack of enthusiasm compared to the other spectators can kill the mood for others sitting nearby.
Even despite the difficulty, promoting is an incredibly rewarding experience when you’re the driving force behind a sport that millions across the world enjoy and are passionate about. There’s no feeling like walking into something like a packed arena to see a fight you helped create. If you’re at all considering promoting, don’t let these tips discourage, but instead be lessons learned to make your own endeavors more successful.