Oscar De La Hoya says if he had the opportunity to play golf when he took up boxing at the age of six, he would have opted for a career on the links instead of in the ring.
“And I would have killed it,” says De La Hoya, who won 11 world titles in six weight classes along with an Olympic gold medal during his Hall of Fame boxing career. “I love everything there is about the game.”
De La Hoya, now 47, first started playing golf in the late 1990’s as he was winning his first 31 professional fights. Today, the founder of Golden Boy Promotions can’t get enough golf, channeling his competitive nature by playing as frequently as he can as a member at Lakeside Country Club in his hometown of Los Angeles. During the pandemic, De La Hoya says he’s been going to the course almost every day in a quest to improve and try shoot in the 70s regularly.
A huge fan of TravisMathew golf apparel – “my closet is full of TravisMathew,” he says – De La Hoya has partnered with the company for an online fundraising initiative in which 100% of online sales on Oct. 19-20 will benefit his foundation.
During the 48-hour flash sale, merchandise will be on sale for up to 50% off. Founded in 1995, the Oscar De La Hoya Foundation is dedicated to helping improve the quality of life for youth and families in East Los Angeles, where the boxing legend was raised and got his start in the local amateur boxing scene.
“It’s going to mean a lot to a lot of families in the inner cities,” De La Hoya said in an interview. “I’m seriously grateful for Travis to step up and be part of this amazing movement that literally is going to change lives.”
De La Hoya first reached out to TravisMathew a couple years ago and, bonded by shared interests, the friendship grew as the two sides quickly recognized they were like-minded. TravisMathew helped sponsor a tournament hosted by De La Hoya, who appeared in one of the company’s ‘Life On Tour’ episodes. They even kicked around the idea of combining a golf tournament with a boxing match and a barbeque.
“That, as far as I know, has never been done,” said TravisMathew CEO Ryan Ellis.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit and scuttled those charitable plans, the two sides got creative again.
“We’re a men’s premium brand and we rarely go on sale. When we do, it sells very quickly,” said Ellis. “We said, ‘Could we do a one-day sale and generate a bunch of profit that we would donate 100% to charity?’ Oscar loved the idea and then we decided to make it two days so we could raise even more. With Covid, with the growth of ecommerce, we feel like we could make the biggest donation in Travis Mathew history and probably the biggest donation that the Oscar De La Hoya foundation has ever seen. It all happened super organically.”
Through the years, De La Hoya’s Foundation has opened a charter school in East Los Angeles and also helped the community open a cancer center, labor and delivery center, and neonatal intensive care unit.
“I’m not trying to be a sandbagger here, but when you talk about a charitable goal, you certainly want to exceed it,” said Ellis. “If the sale goes well, I would expect $300,000-plus to go to charity. If it goes extremely well, you could certainly see it going over half a million (dollars). That’s the potential. We do have more limited product because of Covid, but I don’t think that’s going to be a major deterrent.”
During the pandemic, TravisMathew’s ecommerce business has doubled, helping offset losses at the company’s 17 retail stores. Retail has been TravisMathew’s most profitable channel and Ellis said plans are still in place to open seven more stores by the end of 2021. Other ideas are in the works as well, ideally when things start to return to some kind of normalcy.
“We want to keep getting creative and offering new things,” said Ellis. “Maybe in the back half of 2021 we can target that golf-boxing.”
Source: Forbes – Business