BASN Classic Blackbox: Making Sports Pay Reigning Champion of the World George Foreman

Updated: September 14, 2008



Need a grill ?

Need steaks ?

Need a muffler ?

Need new clothes ?

Need books to read ?

Need an inspiration CD ?

Need a church to worship at ?

Need a well known sports celebrity for your product ?

Whatever you need. You might make George Foreman your starting point. You have no idea what he may be attaching his name to tomorrow. He has made Fame pay maybe better than anyone. George Foreman has written the book.

Actually several so far. There is a humorous side to all this. Yes George Foreman has hosted Saturday Night Live. But a far more serious side. George Foreman has taken his success in the Ring and turned his Fame into a small industry.

No one in the history of the world has ever sold more grills than has his Signature line for Salton. It is now 10 million and counting. If George just got $1 per grill ( and he probably got much more ) figure it out. Recently Salton agreed to pay Foreman even more $137 Million for the rights to use his name to market their grills forever. Maybe he’ll never be in Oprah’s League as a Black entrepreneur but it’s very real money, and who knows by the time he finishes.

At 55 no reason to think he will stop anytime soon. So many more markets yet to Conquer.

Unlikely George conceived of himself as the Ultimate Pitchman 50 years ago growing up in the toughest section of Houston, Texas. It obviously put steel on his bones and fortified his mind as was later proven.

First gaining notice winning the Gold Medal in the Heavyweight Division at the 1968 Olympics. Five years later he earned the world’s attention knocking out Joe Frazier to win the Heavyweight Championship of the World. But unfortunately for Foreman a young boxer named Muhammad Ali was making his way up the ranks behind him and it wasn’t long before Foreman lost his Title to the Greatest.

George Foreman had a very long boxing career that spanned Part 1 and Part 2 separated by a ten year absence from the Ring. Foreman won the World Championship for a second time in 1994. Some feel Foreman’s most memorable Bout was when as a middle aged Fighter in his 40s in 1991 he and Evander Holyfield fought for the Heavyweight Crown, and in a titanic struggle he lost to Holyfield. Only to come back and retake the Title against Michael Moorer 3 years later.

Foreman continued to Fight until 1997.

Yet it is outside the Ring that Foreman has become more Famous and carries with him his most enduring Legacy. There is no better example in the history of Sports so far of an athlete understanding the value of his name and his fame and actively seeking a wide variety of options to capitalize it.

Michael Jordan has nothing on Foreman. Jordan’s only real commercial success is the fortune Nike ( the sweat shop company ) has paid him. George Foreman has him outclassed by a Mile. In fact Foreman went on to transcend his Sport to make himself famous for being famous with a winning face and personality adding additional product endorsements predicated more on this reinforced Fame than even on his credentials in the Ring.

Those endorsement beyond the Salton grills and his other very famous alliance with Meineke mufflers and transmission shops, have also included Oscar Mayer hot dogs, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Doritos and Fritos. Only weeks ago Foreman pulled off another endorsement coup with his own new group of clothing lines for the Casual Male Retail Group.

But the reason George Foreman’s name and image may endure even 100 or more years from now is the Salton grill deal and their desire to use his name in perpetuity which is what they recently paid him well over $100million for. In the year 2104 future generations worldwide may be even more familiar with the name George Foreman than today, which may be on the barbecuing grills all over the planet and even out in space on the Moon and Mars.

Who knows billions of Grills.

Populating the universe.

George Foreman Grills.

And making him far more famous

Than the other George.


( no sorry not you Bush )