From trading jabs, actor Rocco Nacino turns to actual trade
Here’s a young actor who knows how to manage his earnings and is wise enough to invest for his future.
Rocco Nacino, one of the “Kapuso” leading men, is making sure that his hard-earned money is invested properly by venturing into a business that stemmed from his love for contact sport.
The actor, a self-confessed mixed martial arts enthusiast, picked up boxing as his next sport when he got word that the Ortigas gym he was enrolled in was closing down.
A friend suggested to Rocco to join three other businessmen and buy the facility from the Elorde Boxing Gym franchise.
Rocco’s parents were a bit hesitant when he broached the idea of investing his earnings from show business because he had no prior business experience. But Rocco the risk-taker prevailed.
“In doing business, it’s either you make money or you lose money. But I had a gut feeling with this gym, that we could turn this business around,” says Rocco.
After renovating the gym and installing new equipment, Rocco and his business partners opened the refurbished Elorde Boxing Gym in Home Depot Ortigas in late 2012.
They retained the trainers from the previous management because they are highly qualified and are already known among the clients.
Epitome of boxing
Rocco and his partners chose to keep the Elorde name because it is synonymous with world-class boxers.
“When you say ‘Elorde,’ it is the epitome of boxing, they train good boxers. So we’re OK with paying the 10 percent royalty of our monthly sales because it really does help. And from that, we established a good relationship with the Elordes,” shares Rocco.
He uses social media to promote his new business, and has invited celebrity friends. But opening during the holidays was a big challenge for them. Instead of going to the gym, people were attending parties and gatherings and, of course, partaking in the feasts.
The slow start made Rocco a bit worried over his first business venture. But by the end of the holiday season, customers eager to lose weight flocked to his gym.
“January 2013, our sales were kicking up because everyone wanted to burn their holiday weight. They came to the gym, and word got around that the gym has a new management. Everything happened from there. Within seven months, we already had our ROI (return on investment),” he says.
The gym became so popular that Rocco and his business partners were faced with a good problem: The gym gets packed with clients to the point that their trainers were training five clients at a time, and were dead tired by the end of the day. The business partners decided to expand the Ortigas gym to address this problem.
Being a first-time businessman, Rocco eagerly did his research and studied how to run a business. He participated in promoting and marketing the gym, and came up with packages to entice more clients.
In March 2013, Rocco and his business partners opened their second Elorde Boxing Gym on Marcos Highway. They found the area promising, with lots of residential areas, and it is very accessible to people.
Whereas the Ortigas gym clientele are made up mostly of office employees, the Marcos Highway branch are frequented by families, especially mothers.
“Morning clients are mostly mommies, while at night, they are from the office, professionals. Surprisingly, the majority of clients are females. There came a time when about 80 percent of the clients are women,” he says.
Rocco, who is also a registered nurse, helps out and uses his medical training in the gym whenever the need arises. He plans to return to medical school someday and become a
pediatrician, he says.
Part of Rocco’s agreement with the Elordes is that the family will provide the trainers to ensure quality and skills. These trainers are also taught how to market themselves to establish good rapport and relationship with their clients. They also train professional boxers and championship fighters.
Acquainted with these talented boxers and trainers, Rocco decided to enter another—but still related—business venture: boxing promotions.
It was a natural step for Rocco, who has personally watched boxers train and fight. He saw how the lack of advertisement and promotion would deprive the boxing events of a good audience. So Rocco and one of his partners, along with the Elordes, came up with a project to promote boxing matches.
Learning how to do boxing promotions proved to be quite a challenge for Rocco.
“You have to be ready for the headache. You have to look for sponsors and people with good connections. Find a good location. I learned how to sell airtime. You have to make sure you deliver your end of the deal. And, most importantly, you have to really be organized especially during the event,” Rocco says.
They mounted a boxing event last September 2014, dubbed “Heart of the Champions” in SM Mall of Asia featuring championship fighters from their stable. It was televised by Rocco’s home network, GMA 7.
The broadcast rated well, and Rocco’s partners were eager for a follow-up project. Unfortunately, their busy schedules prevented them from organizing another event. But the business partners are hopeful that they will be able to promote another boxing match before the year ends.
Rocco is happy with how his first business venture turned out. He is now striving to save enough to start another business, this time a restaurant, for his parents.
He hopes to expand the Elorde Boxing Gym branches and mount more boxing events someday. Doing so would mean giving livelihood to the trainers and promote up and coming boxers.
Taking risks paid well for Rocco—he followed his gut feeling and ended up launching a new career for himself, this time as a businessman.
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