Crystal Frost works behind the scenes as the PR head for Mayweather Promotions and is the founder of her own company MADWMN.
Professional boxing is one of the oldest sports in the modern era originating in the late 1800s. However, it’s just fully evolving into the 21st century in terms of equal opportunity in regard to gender. Fighters like Claressa Shields, Amanda Serrano and Katie Taylor are fighting for change in the ring, but people like Crystal Frost are doing their part outside of it.
Watching boxing on TV, the fighters are front and center, but there’s a team effort to make sure that these events come off without a hitch. Managers, promoters and broadcasting companies are some of the main entities that help pull off a fight promotion, and they all have PR experts.
That’s where Frost comes in. She began working for Mayweather Promotions in 2016 and was quickly elevated to brand communications lead, where she helps introduce their stable of fighters to the world.
Her path into boxing PR wasn’t her original goal. In a way, it found her.
Frost knew that she wanted to be in the PR world and took all the right steps to get there. She got her B.S. from USC in business administration and management and set off into the profession. Her focus was on fashion.
“So I started in fashion,” Frost said to FanSided. “And I quickly realized after doing some internships with some fashion agencies in L.A., that fashion wasn’t for me. The personalities, the, you know, everything when you think fashion and see it in movies, and things like that is real. And so for me, you know, I operate, you know, more behind the scenes, and I like to just kind of have like, my mental health at the forefront. And so I quickly realized this isn’t going to work.”
The arrogance and mean-spirited attitudes viewed in movies like The Devil Wears Prada proved to be a reality, and its negativity was something Frost wanted no part of.
Frost grew up as a sports fan playing softball for most of her youth. She had an interest in sports and received an interesting call from a friend.
“Ironically, a girl who is as you know, Mayweather Promotions back in 2016, who I knew prior, she’s like, ‘Hey, you know, we’re looking for a little help on, you know, marketing and PR, would you be interested?’ And so I’m like, ‘Sure, why not?’ And then she’s like, ‘well, you’re gonna have to move to Vegas.’
“And so that was really for me, you know, being an L.A. girl, having like, never spent more than a weekend in Vegas, I just, you know, I thought about it, thought about it. And I’m like, well, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with a once-in-a-lifetime icon, you know, Floyd.”
Crystal Frost is the brand communications lead for Mayweather Promotions and is the founder of MADWMN
Fate was working on Frost’s side, and it swept her from the world of fashion to boxing. Frost’s father was a boxing fan, so she watched numerous fights on T.V. including those of Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather Jr., according to Frost.
Now, she was going to be working for Mayweather, one of the best boxers in history.
Having spent two years in the fashion industry, Frost needed to calibrate her PR skills to boxing, so she invested months into boxing research.
“I think it took me like a solid like three to four months to fully like understand, like everything from the matchmaking to the scoring, to you know, how many times the fighter should fight,” Frost said. “You know, just all the things that you don’t really think about all those intricate details.”
Feeling prepped and ready to take on the boxing business, Frost moved to Las Vegas, NV, and got herself acclimated to her new area of expertise. One of the first steps was meeting her new boss, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“It was a little nerve-wracking,” Frost recalled. “I don’t typically get starstruck. I just remember thinking, oh, wow, like, okay. He walked into the gym, I remember. And I had to keep my composure because you don’t want to seem like a fan girl, especially being a woman in the sport. It’s like, you gotta carry your own. And I just remember, like, just kind of watching. Like, I didn’t really say much. I just kind of like watched how he moved. How, you know, his crew was with him.”
Frost was now part of the Mayweather Promotions team, and she really felt at home working on one of her biggest early fights with the company.
While doing PR the night of the Badou Jack vs. James DeGale bout back in 2017, Frost felt like she had the full trust, love and respect of her new company.
“And every time I saw him [Mayweather], like, you know, shortly after, it was when Badou fought DeGale in 2017 in Brooklyn,” Frost said. “And I remember I was on the stage, and I had to get audio clips. And he was like, get this girl whatever she needs. Give it to her.
“And I just remember, like, wait, what? Like, you know, he just kind of like put me in a position to make sure like, whatever I needed, I got for the promotion. From a press standpoint, whatever it is, that was going to make the show like, you know, just run I had, and so I was like super grateful.”
Frost’s performance and dedication to her position allowed her to become a primary player in Mayweather Promotions. Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe soon elevated Frost to brand communications lead, which put her in charge of all PR. It’s a position she still holds.
Boxing was a friendlier environment than fashion, but Frost feel like she was treated differently at times by others because she was a woman in a male-dominated sport and business. Frost stayed tough and made sure to stand her ground when confronted with misogyny.
“I think there were definitely more moments than not where I thought I had to prove myself because one, it’s like, who’s this little girl that just like popped up in boxing?” Frost said.
Frost added, “I had to gain respect and, and like, really hold my own. Like, there were opportunities where I had to kind of say, like, ‘No, this is what I think we should do.’ And like really, like, stand firm on whatever it is that I was, like, pushing at that time. But also, I had to, you know, show my knowledge.”
Frost more than proved herself and gained the trust of the fighters she was working with. Gervonta Davis and Rolly Romero were just a few of the boxers that took Frost’s advice to heart.
Frost was cruising in the boxing world, and then the pandemic hit. Boxing, like the rest of the world, came to a standstill, and that’s when other avenues made themselves available to Frost.
“But I think like a lot of people, the pandemic was a pretty pivotal moment where either people were going to fall behind, or they were going to leap ahead,” Frost said. “And for me, I realized, there’s so much that I can do that I’ve lent to these fighters that can be applied to a lot of people.”
Frost helped these fighters in their daily lives. Even with Mayweather Promotions, she was helping Davis set up an IRA.
“I’m like, do you have an IRA setup?,” Frost said. “Do you have, you know, he was, you know, about to have his child, and he didn’t know anything. And I’m like, this is what you have to do. And, you know, just like little things like that, like, that’s where I felt like I was creating the most impact.”
Realizing that her advice stretched beyond the boxing realm, Frost thought there was more she could be doing in terms of PR and brand management.
With a lull in boxing, Frost decided to create her own company called MADWMN, which she runs in conjunction with her duties at Mayweather Promotions. The ‘MAD’ in MADWMN stands for marketing, advertising and design.
One of her first clients was former IBF super middleweight champion, Caleb Plant. She used her old roots in fashion to help Plant transcend boxing.
“My first client was Caleb plant, and I came on board when he did the Canelo fight,” Frost said. “And he knew that I had a lot of good connections in fashion and music and things like that. And he’s like, I want to, you know, I want to create a larger platform for myself, like, this is the biggest moment of my career.”
Frost engineered a collaboration between Plant and fashion company FEATURE. That was Frost’s first step in building her company. Word of mouth spread quickly, and she added clients like BMX rider Nigel Sylvester and actor Javaon ‘Wanna’ Walton.
Frost credits her position at Mayweather Promotions and learning from Ellerbe for giving her the experience needed to become a well-rounded entrepreneur. Frost still works for Mayweather Promotions and represents their fighters, but she’s finding ways to have their boxing lives crossover into other domains. In addition, she’s doing the same at MADWMN for celebrities from other walks of life as well.
Frost has a knack for seeing possibilities in her clients that they didn’t realize existed. Her ability to understand, empathize and collaborate with them has broken down barriers for them and her.
“My tag is always why not?” said Frost. “Like, why not? Why can’t we do it? It’s not you, then who?”
Frost has proven that she can do it, and her example is inspiring others.