Thursday, March 6, 2014
Yormark won't give up on getting Floyd
By Michael Woods
Barclays CEO Brett Yormark has his sights set on Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Having come to know Nets and Barclays CEO Brett Yormark the tiniest bit over the past couple of years and getting a read on the man, how he operates and his drive to secure big deals, I had to assume that he didn't punch a wall when he was told that Floyd Mayweather would be fighting at the MGM Grand, and not Barclays Center, on May 3.
I chatted with Yormark on Thursday, a day after the boxing world learned that Mayweather, the 37-year-old undefeated specialist who is the most richly compensated athlete in the sports world, would be returning to his virtual home base, the MGM, to meet Marcos Maidana.
I jokingly asked Yormark if he pulled an Elvis, cocked a pistol and fired a round into his television when told that Barclays wouldn't be landing what he terms "the Super Bowl of boxing."
"I was a little disappointed," he allowed. "We came hard and strong with a great marketing and financing package," which he said is probably the largest offered to deliver any performer at any NYC venue. "But you can't make up for comfort and convenience. I think that ultimately swayed Mayweather and his team."
Yormark said he will attend the Mayweather bout in Vegas. And I'm pretty certain he will continue to press, politely but firmly, to land the next Mayweather fight, which will unfold in September.
"We're going to get the megafight one day," Yormark said. "We showed [Mayweather advisor] Al Haymon [and promoter] Richard Schaefer we mean business. We want to be the place for big-time fights."
The social media Einsteins assumed Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs) would use the MGM as his staging ground for the ninth consecutive occasion, but Yormark said he was more than optimistic that Floyd & Co. would see the wisdom in freshening things up and come to the media and marketing capital of the planet, New York City.
"I thought we were going to get it. In my heart and gut, I thought we'd get it," the CEO admitted. "But it's only a matter of time 'til we get the big one."
Armchair analysts like to point out the supposedly onerous tax black clouds that hang over the heads of athletes and entertainers who come to New York to ply their trade, especially in comparison to a relative tax haven like Vegas. Yormark didn't want to delve into the specifics of the package and dissect what other issues, besides the comfort factor, that might have played into Team Mayweather's choice to stick to the tried and true. But from what I gather from speaking to other knowledgeable people who traffic in such matters, the revenue "lost" to the taxman could be recouped with a higher gate in NYC, as compared to Vegas. A must-see event in these parts attracts more financiers dollars, more wolves from Wall Street, if you like, which would be one way to diminish the sting of the handoff to the taxman, quite possibly.
Circling back to Yormark, I've seen in him the markings of a genial pit bull. He doesn't seem the sort to wallow in self-pity or admit defeat and shift gears toward another juicy score. I believe he has set his sights on landing a Mayweather fight. My opinion is that the MGM streak will be broken sooner rather than later and that "Money" will touch down and do his thing in Brooklyn.