Top Rank consolidating Pacquiao’s management team

March 25, 2011

The Sports Business Journal had an interesting front page piece in this week’s edition about Manny Pacquiao authorizing his promotion, Top Rank, to handle sponsorship and endorsement deals.

There has been so much disorganization in the Pacquiao camp as to the point person on business deals that many corporate sponsors could not arrange deals with the champion.

Via Sports Business Journal (subscription required):

It has been a consistent complaint of those who venture into the world of Team Pacquiao, a loosely aligned, often disorganized collection of associates and friends of the world’s most popular fighter, many of whom claim to represent him but few of whom deliver. An iconic superstar of sport, television, music, film and now politics in the Philippines, Pacquiao remains largely untapped commercially in North America, in part because he is from the other side of the globe but also because he has not made it a priority.

On Feb. 25, his promoter, Top Rank, sent a letter to sponsors and sponsor prospects that began: “We’ve heard frustrations from many companies about their inability to explore personal endorsement and/or corporate branding opportunities with Manny Pacquiao.” Signed by CEO Bob Arum and President Todd DuBoef, it went on to explain that in an effort to eliminate confusion, Pacquiao had authorized Top Rank to handle his sponsorship and endorsement deals. It also introduced a new hire, Lucia McKelvey, a former vice president of golf development and sales at IMG, who will serve as the point person on all commercial opportunities for Pacquiao.

“I think we’ve been losing millions and millions in endorsements for Manny,” Koncz said last week from the Philippines. “It’s just confusing to corporate America. … We know there’s a short span remaining in his boxing career. Now we need to look at how to sustain the lifestyle he has now without boxing. That’s a tall mountain to climb. The only way to do that is through endorsements.”

Payout Perspective:

It is clear from watching HBO’s 24/7’s on Manny Pacquiao is that there is no clear direction with Pacquiao’s business affairs. Certainly, Freddie Roach manages Manny in the ring but he has openly expressed frustration with the outside business interests of Pacquiao. The only downfall in Pacquiao’s dynasty is his management team.  The internal struggles are apparent. The SBJ article is disturbing as much as it is informative. It appears that Pacquiao is a victim of his own kindness. As a brand, Pacquiao should be capitalizing on more North American corporate sponsorships. Despite living in the Philippines, Pacquiao could still work with companies in developing marketing campaigns. If nothing else, the revenue earned from some of Pacquiao’s endorsements could be donated back to the people he represents in the Philippines.

We’ve seen Frankie Edgar and GSP drop their manager to hire closer ties. Not saying that their new management will not look out for their interests, but the dynamic of having close ties manage your business interests is a risky proposition. As the SBJ article outlines, there are too many people in Pacquiao’s camp that say they have power that don’t. How much money have Pacquiao’s “friends” siphoned off him by using his name and making promises that Pacquiao is unaware of.


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