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Exploring Life & Business with George Foreman III of Craft Boxing

Today we’d like to introduce you to George Foreman III.

Hi George, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Before founding Craft Boxing, I founded a boxing gym brand called EverybodyFights. We started with one large location in the Seaport area of Boston with over 15,000 sqft, 2,000+ members and expanded to multiple locations across the Northeast. Prior to EverybodyFights, I managed all of my father’s business affairs, including major brand deals, speaking engagements and more. I was also a professional heavyweight boxer myself, winning 16 out of 16 fights before retirement. I later created Craft Boxing to help people use boxing as a platform to actualize their ideal future self by providing the community, tools, support, and accountability that enables a safe place for individuals to explore how they respond under pressure and get better at it. As a passionate mental health advocate, I’m an enormous proponent of encouraging others to use boxing as a way to build confidence, courage and self-discipline. Now more than ever, consumers are looking for authentic boxing training, yet the companies that are the most ubiquitous are ‘boxing fitness’ brands that don’t deliver all of the mental, physical and emotional benefits of true boxing training. There are so many authentic boxing gyms and trainers out there, but they don’t have the time, budget, or expertise to compete on a marketing level with the larger and flashier boxing fitness brands. That’s where Craft Boxing and the Craft Boxing League come in!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Typically with any business, finding product-market fit is the hardest part. For Craft this was easy, but COVID has made it very challenging logistically. Especially because we are a wellness company at the end of the day – so, we cannot work to promote health and, in the same breath, knowingly expose people to potential unhealthy experiences. This has been a balancing act for sure because now more than ever, people are craving togetherness and real authentic in-person experiences – that’s what Craft Boxing wants to give them. Outside of COVID, we have struggled a bit to present ourselves to the world with a simple elevator pitch. We have been in this world (as individuals) for so long that we had a hard time boiling down what we do as a brand when we introduced Craft Boxing to the world. We do all things boxing training, including our inaugural collections of apparel and equipment, our digital workout content and online training camps, our trainer education courses and our league of authentic in-person boxing gyms and trainers globally. One thing we’ve struggled to make clear to people is that participating in Craft Boxing programs does not mean you will get punched! We focus on training (mental, emotional and physical), focus, preparation, commitment, and ultimately, awakening.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
We are all about making boxing training accessible. We start by getting you boxing virtually from home and then, when possible, we aim to get you to a real gym. Traditional boxing gyms provide a place for misfits – however they identify themselves — to find confidence, courage, and self-discipline through boxing, which brings out our best qualities; whether through mental health support, fitness, or personal development. We know that if we can get you connected with a good boxing trainer and gym community, your life will be changed for the better. And along the way, when you need gear or anything to support your journey, we have you covered.

Most virtual training/fitness companies are all about ‘owning’ the customer and making you exclusive to their platform. They want to keep you subscribed for as long as possible (to make as much money as possible). We are focused on starting with you in the virtual world to build confidence, then finding you a home with a real trainer in a real gym – even if that means we will lose your business. No matter what it costs us, our first responsibility is to make your life better, and with boxing, the best way to do that is with human connections in real-life communities.

We want Craft Boxing to be more than a registered trademark – we want it to be synonymous with authentic boxing training. When someone says, “I’m taking boxing classes,” we want you to ask, “Is it Craft Boxing or is it cardio punching?” (i.e., are you also getting all of the emotional and mental benefits of real boxing training, or is it just a workout?). I worked hard when conceptualizing Craft Boxing to distill the decades of passion, commitment and quite frankly obsession with boxing that has shaped my own life. When we started to develop a brand identity, we leaned hard into ‘visual language’ – you will see it in the symbols we use on our apparel and equipment. We want our visual language to convey real meaning and speak for itself rather than overwhelm people with words. From my perspective, boxing has always been ‘post-modern’ – boxing icons have always been ahead of their time, ushering in broad social change in times when it is needed most. We want to continue to honor that legacy in everything we do at Craft Boxing.

Authentic old-school (traditional) boxing gyms are disappearing—but the need for these personal outlets and community spaces has not. Craft Boxing is committed to preserving the spirit of boxing and inviting a modern audience to explore its benefits. We are dedicated to making authentic boxing as accessible as possible through our services and programs, including:

Virtual on-demand workouts

Virtual boxing training camps

Virtual 1:1 training sessions

Craft Boxing League — A global network of authentic boxing gyms, trainers and boxers committed to honoring the craft of boxing and holding the community to a higher standard.

Products — apparel and equipment

Round of the Week — a short “Round of the Week” workout: an interactive challenge posed to the community; record and post yourself completing the challenge. This is not only the simplest way to get someone’s active participation in the Craft Boxing League, but a way to get more people to throw their first punch, providing them a convenient “next step” toward boxing in any shape or form.

Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
A lot of people will wisely tell you that you can’t do everything yourself, which I agree is true, but the nature of starting a business often means you have to. When I look back on starting out as an entrepreneur, I actually wish I had the confidence to do more things myself initially, rather than thinking there would always be someone better for the job. After a lot of trial and error, I now default to trying myself before bringing in outside help. And furthermore, when you’re a start-up, you have a small period of time where you are not overloaded with customers, so you can use the opportunity to build your company one brick at a time (i.e., admin, supply chain, social, marketing, etc.) before it all has to operate and scale in real-time. While someone might have a lot more experience than you do, they can’t bring the same level of dedication, vision and passion that you as the founder can.

Pricing:

  • Our at-home workout offering is $19.99/month and includes on-demand video and audio workouts in addition to programmed 5-week training camps.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Brian Doherty

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