By Angela Wills
Former heavyweight boxing champ, George Foreman, has a story similar to many other world famous athletes. At the height of his career he made millions, and, like many athletes, felt he’d saved enough cash from his glory days. It wasn’t until after a few bad investments and a bit of unwise spending that he would find out differently. Foreman, nicknamed “Big George, had no other option but to get back into the ring and make more money.
At the term of his second retirement, he was wiser and much more in tuned with what needed to be done. He was clear that there was no coming back this time around, so when a chance of a lifetime came around offering him the opportunity to earn $137.5 million, the heavyweight didn’t sleep on it.
In 1994, the names Hulk Hogan and George Foreman were household names. Together, the wrestling pro and boxing champ were prime candidates for promoting and marketing major brand names. Hogan was presented with three options by his agent: a meatball maker, a blender and a grill. Hogan chose the meatball maker, which didn’t work out so well and he advised his agent to give the grill to another client, which was none other than Foreman. At the time, Foreman marketed the success of his comeback as a companion of healthy eating and would be the perfect person to represent the grill. Match that with his lovable personality and you’ve got a winning combination.
This would be the campaign of a lifetime as sales of the grill hit record highs in very little time. During the most significant sales recordings, Foreman was acquiring 40% of the profits for each grill and was seeing between $4.5 million and $4.8 million monthly.
Since the grill’s introduction, in 1994, it has sold more than 100 million units worldwide. Instead of continuing to pay Foreman that amount of money on a monthly basis, they simply offered to buy the rights to his name. It was the deal between Foreman and Spectrum Brands, Inc. that would pay George Foreman $137.5 million for the rights to his name.
It’s pretty safe to say that the heavyweight champ got it right the second time around.