GHOST AND DAGGER the Legend of AL HAYMON
He’s been villiafied…criticized and even at one point during his illustrious career as a seasoned business mogul, he’s been ostracized.
He is AL HAYMON the highly mysterious entertainment mogul who has made such an impact on the Boxing community , that it has poloraized this sport like no other figure or issue to date.
Very little is known about the this businessman who started in the concert touring field with acts such as the late Whitney Houston , MC Hammer, Mary J. Blige, Eddie Murphy , Rick James and Patti Labelle.
Haymon’s name became synonymous with the urban concert market, so much so that his enterprise closed a deal by becoming the first black promoter to exclusively promote a national tour.
Due to the fact that the world renown beer brewing corporation Anheuser-Bush sold its majority stake in promoting the BUDWEISER SUPERFEST TOUR in 1985 to the enterprising Haymon.
This deal along with several other notable business affairs made Al Haymon prominent in the world of entertainment.
Despite the fact that very little was known of Al Haymon the individual, due to the fact that he remained very much behind the scenes, allowing his clients to take centerstage unlike most promoters whom seemed hellbent on promoting themselves.
Haymon maintained this aura of obscurity throughout the remainder of the 80’s and the 90’s.
Enter the new millinium and Al Haymon’s business model has proven to be quite successful, because by the end of 1999, Al Haymon Enterprises entered into a lucrative business partnership with SFX inc. now known as LIVE NATION entertainment, the largest tour promotional company on the globe.
This joint venture between Al Haymon (49%) and Live Nation (51%) formerly known as SFX would be mutually benifical to both parties, considering the Haymon’s vast expertise in handling urban acts in the touring field and Live Nation’s ability to provide capital and infrastructure.
Al Haymon being the progressive businessman that he’s shown himself to be for over the past few decades, decides to take that infusion of capital and go full throttle into the boxing promotion game.
And just as much of an impact he was able to make into the music promotion field, he emulated that same business model and eventual success in the world of boxing.
One of his first clients was the former Welterweight Champion and native of Atlanta Vernon Forrest, who not only served as a well respected fighter in the Al Haymon camp but a sign to many others attracted to the Haymon brand , that Haymon was capable of doing something that many other promoters and managers were uncapable or unwilling to do which is secure big matches on prime time networks such as HBO and SHOWTIME.
This business model has helped as well as hurt the Haymon brand which as been accused lately of securing a somewhat illegal monopoly on fighters in the professional world of boxing.
For example Haymon whom rarely gives interviews , has yet to define what his specific role in regards to the boxers he’s associated with, many see this as a conflict of interest considering managers are not supposed to act as promoters in regards to the bouts they select their fighters for.
And according to many boxing pundits this is a clear violation of a federal statue known as the “MUHAMMAD ALI ACT” which was introduced in 1999 to prevent these conflict of intrests as well as the exploitation of fighters by managers and promoters whom operated in such an illegal manner.
Despite this claim , Haymon still moves on undeterred and most intrestingly silent , much to the amusement and bewilderment of not only his boxing business peers but the fans whom have giving him the alias of the “Ghost” because of his avoidance of the media.
Many have suggested perhaps this is validation of some sort of wrongdoing or unethical business is taking place within the Haymon empire, or maybe it’s just his unique business model of letting his clients be it the boxers of the ring or a singer walking unto a stage getting the spotlight while he manages the affairs that he was hired to do.
Being that the business he has held for such consistency has diversified , it seems to work in Haymon’s advantage , but just like any business relationship there are flaws, as evident in the “other controversy” that was taking place simotaneously in the music touring biz that Haymon was still involved with.
As LIVE NATION grew with it’s 2010 buyout of Ticketmaster giving it a virtual monopoly of not only the touring business but the transaction aspect as well.
Problems arose and Al Haymon found himself privy to those problems as well, considering his role within the Live Nation venture was to oversee the urban repertoire of Live Nation which included Kanye West and Beyonce and Jay –Z.
Live Nation had heavily relied on Al Haymon and his urban touring expertise to help merge or for lack of a better word “crossover” those urban acts into the mainstream via the lucrative global touring market.
So in essence Al Haymon became their “urban guru” for his efforts in facilitating the relationship between corporate monster LIVE NATION and various urban acts seeking to connect with their fanbase and a growing global audience.
Yet In 2011, press released court documents revealed a schism taking place between Beyonce Knowles and her father as well as former manager Matthew Knowles.
According to the litigation papers filed by Matthew Knowles representivies from Live Nation made false accusations to Beyonce alleging that Matthew Knowles along with Al Haymon conspired to defraud the recording artist Beyonce of revenue from her 2010 global tour entitled “I AM”.
Despite the allegations being made , in the end they proved to be unfounded considering Live Nation continued to work with Al Haymon as evident in Haymon’s involvement in both segments of the I AM MUSIC tour headlined by Lil Wayne in the summer of 2011.
In the aftermath Haymon came out untainted from the whole affair and to this day remains an integral part of the Live Nation machine by retaining his role as a consultant.
Also it should be noted that Haymon came out as a winner on the business end of things as well by selling the remaining 49% share of his touring company providing him extra capital but as well the soviergnty to solidify his business.
Now it’s 2015 and Al Haymon is not only unscathed by the events which took place in the boxing and music world, but ranks so high as an elite , he was named by not only HBO , but various media publications as the “most powerful man in Boxing”.
With an impressive 100 plus boxers under his “management” , as his one of his business partners Richard Shaeffer has stated
“He is actually empowering the fighters. I don't know how many fighters he has, 60, 70 fighters, whatever it is, but he doesn't have a single one saying anything bad about him. It tells you something about the man. He's doing things right”
Which is shocking to say the least when one thinks of boxing the word that comes to mind is “CORRUPTION”, it’s safe to say you would be hard pressed to find one promoter/manager who hasn’t been taking to court or accused of unethical business activity, Don King and Bob Arum are just a few of the notables.
Yet Al Haymon clearly has demonstrated it’s more than just the “show” aspect with him involved as a promoter, for example Boxing’s most infamous star Floyd Mayweather transformed from the alias “Pretty” to “Money” based on the fact that not only he garners a whopping 30 million just to show in every fight of his contracted six fight megadeal with Showtime Networks.
And boxing experts estimate that Mayweather due to Haymon's intense negotiating measures is likely to obtain a guaranteed 100 million dollar purse for the Mayweather/Pacquaio bout.
Something to take note of, as Mayweather himself has said what Haymon has done for his fighters has never been done...Mayweather has been empowered to create his own promotional company and sign other fighters , something which is a rarity in a sport known for having fighters whom lacking from a business sense.
And Haymon's domination continues most recently , he was able to give a fighter an opportunity to bring the Heavyweight belt back to America, something which hasn’t taking place in nearly a decade, as Haymon promoted fighter Deontay Wilder caputured the Heavyweight Title in a Showtime TV televised bout which sets an interesting prelude of things to come in 2015.
In the midst of that title bout, Haymon just signed another two lucrative megadeals with NBC sports which sets another historic precedent by bringing back boxing to network television allowing an audience to witness fighters without having to pay exortion like pay per view fees by the cable networks.
For all his mystery and questionable business tactics, you have to take an unbiased account into the fact that Haymon’s pros outweights the cons in regards to what he is bringing to sports and entertainment in general.
Pretty impressive for a man who remains a source of intrigue just by looking at his Wikpedia bio , little is said of this man , whose birth record remains clueless other than the fact that he was born in Cleaveland Ohio, yet is able to manage the affairs of so many public and fame desiring entertainers.
One can only sit back and observe , because it’s obvious that is the only thing the “GHOST” will allow us in the audience to do.