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Oscar De La Hoya is one of the greatest boxers of all time. The “Golden Boy” won ten world titles in six different weight classes. He’s also one of the most popular boxers ever, generating approximately $700 million in pay-per-view income during his career, a record at that time.
Always having a mind for business, De La Hoya formed his boxing promotional firm in 2002, while in the prime of his career. After his retirement as a fighter, in 2009, De La Hoya focused on his multiple businesses and extensive charity work.
When I asked De Lay Hoya the reason for his business success, he said, “It’s all about who you surround yourself with. I always said, ‘Surround yourself with people smarter than you.’ I’m lucky to have Eric Gomez, a childhood friend, be the President of our company. He’s a person that I can actually trust with my wallet. We work hand in hand and have made the right decisions. We’ve also been able to incorporate people who can continuously take us to the next level, whether it’s technology or digital platforms.”
He started thinking about getting into business after a tough fight with Fernando Vargas. De La Hoya remembered, “I ended up knocking him out in the 11th round, but it was such a tough fight. I remember thinking, ‘What’s next? What’s after boxing? I can’t do this forever.’”
His entrepreneurial journey began back in 2002, when he got in a dispute with his promotion company, Top Rank Boxing. He said, “I woke up one day and came to the conclusion that I should own my own masters” Prior to that, he would agree on the purse, have the fight and get paid. The promotions company owned the footage and could do whatever they wanted with it.
After he retired, and was growing Golden Boy Promotions, De La Hoya had to pass the torch to another generation of fighters. The strategy has worked. They have promoted some of the greatest fighters of all time, including: Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Bernard Hopkins and more.
He recently helped Canelo Alvarez sign the largest sports deal in history: A 5 year, $365 million contract. A lot of people claim that boxing is on the decline, but this deal proves that people are still interested in watching the sport.
De La Hoya also partnered with DAZN, a live sports streaming platform, to make boxing more accessible to the fans. For $19.99 a month, fans can watch top boxers like Ryan Garcia, Anthony Joshua and Canelo Alvarez. De La Hoya is excited about the platform, “This generation doesn’t want to be told what to watch, when to watch or how to watch. Now, with DAZN, you can watch it on demand, on your phone or on your computer. You can take the fight on the go. DAZN is spending major money. They want to be the premier destination for sports. Take the Canelo fight. He is making pay-per-view money, fighting on DAZN. But the consumer doesn’t have to pay pay-per-view dollars. The consumer benefits most, which is the most important thing to us. Because when the consumer is happy, then everyone else is happy.”
It’s interesting to see how the numbers will look for the Canelo-Jacobs fight on May 4th. De La Hoya said, “For an average Canelo-Jacobs fight, we’d do $1 million to $1.25 million pay-per-views for $80 or $90 each. For this fight, we’ll probably get 600,000 to 700,000 subscriptions.” This reoccurring revenue stream is much more attractive than a one-time purchase.
But it’s not all business with De La Hoya; he is very involved with his foundation. He said, “My foundation is my baby. It’s been 21 years since I started The Oscar De La Hoya Foundation. So, I decided to partner with White Memorial Hospital, in East L.A, where my Mother last received her treatment for breast cancer. The people there were so good, and they felt like family, so I decided to do something for the community. Over the years we’ve built several wings for them, including the Cecilia Gonzalez De La Hoya Cancer Center. We also built the Oscar De La Hoya Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Education is also very important for the community of East L.A. The area has one of the highest dropout ratios in all of L.A. Unified School District. To me, it was important to try and change that. So, we built the Oscar De La Hoya High School. It’s a charter high school. Now, we have 99.9% of the kids graduating, which is unheard of.”
While there may be richer businessman in sports, few have combined building a successful business with making a positive impact in their communities, like Oscar De La Hoya has.
Watch the Canelo-Jacobs fight on May 4th on DAZN.
April 24, 2019 at 12:24PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs