Boxing isn’t just about Boxers and promoters, we here at ThaBoxingVoice realize that so many different people are involved to make a fight, from the boxer, to the cut man from the promoter to the PR Company. Recently I was able to talk with Emily Pandelakis of Athlete Evolution Public Relations, home to some fighters such as Jose Benavidez Jr., David Benavidez, Lateef Kayode, Michael Medina, Jamie Kavanagh, and Wale “Lucky Boy” Omotoso. She was kind enough to give me some of the insight that she has to go through juggling numerous boxers with a busy personal life.
I started off the interview by asking how hard it was to balance person life with being part of a PR company for multiple professional boxers. She stated, “It definitely has its challenges. In addition to my PR work, I have a full time job as a project manager at a software company. I also have three kids. I’m very fortunate to have great support, but sometimes I find myself having to rearrange my time to make sure I’m giving my family the time they deserve. All in all, I’ve found ways to balance it. My boyfriend puts up with me when I’m on the phone all night during date night, or pausing a movie five times to take a call or making sure a fighter makes it onto an interview. I’m lucky to have such an awesome family.”
Next I asked how many boxers she currently represents and how does the process work. “It’s hard to give a number, because I do different types of work for each of the fighters. For example, with one fighter, my only job is to act as a liaison to a particular group of fans, college alumni in that case. He has a publicist and PR team. With others, I handle more for them”, Pandelakis replied. Then I asked whether she seeks out boxers or do they come to her, she said, “I don’t seek out new fighters. If I take on a new fighter, it is because there is an existing relationship with his manager or trainer, typically. I also work with a promotional company here locally, Iron Boy Promotions.
We then moved on to talking about the traveling involved with the job and possible events coming up that she will be at. I asked how many fights she gets to and if she will be at the Lucky Boy fight on March 16th. Pandelakis said, “I do try to make it to as many events as I can, but family is always first, so I do miss some. Sometimes I’m required to go early to help with the press, but many times I just go to support the fighter, and be there on fight night. Doing ‘PR’ often means more than just that. With one fighter, I always make sure he has Pedialyte and chap stick on weigh-in day, glamorous, right? I like to be there when I can, though. I will be at Lucky Boy’s fight on the 16th. I also work with Gabino Saenz, who is also fighting on that card.”
Now we, as boxing fans, know that when negotiating a fight there is a split between GB and TR. So I asked when it comes to boxers and PR, is it similar? Do most of her boxers come to you from the same Promotional Company or is it pretty split in a number of different groups? Pandelakis replied, “My clients are from different promoters. I have one from GBP, three at Top Rank, one with Gary Shaw, one with Lou DiBella, and several unsigned fighters. I work closely with three different managers, and they work with various promoters.”
One of Emily’s biggest “name” fighters is Wale “Lucky Boy” Omotoso, so I asked when she has a fighter like that, who is on an upcoming card, is it hard to give attention to all of her other fighters. Is it like having kids and trying to treat everyone the same? “It can be difficult, to be honest. There is a month stretch, which I’m in the middle of now, where every week is fight week. I try to make sure everyone is getting the attention they need, and draft a media plan for each fighter that I follow with my partner, Kiona Arellanes. It helps me to have a specific set of deliverables and objectives for each fighter, and it helps to keep track of my communications with various media, sponsors, etc. I have a separate, specific plan for fighters that don’t have a fight coming up as well. It’s hard, but I’m managing it, and learning more every day. Having kids is easier, because I get to tell them what to do, whereas the fighters get to tell me what to do,” Pandelakis stated.
Keep an eye out for Part 2 of the interview with Emily Pandelakis.