UFC just added a bunch of very high-profile Hollywood and sports heavy hitters to its growing ownership group.
Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye, Adam Levine, Anthony Kiedis, Ben Affleck, Calvin Harris, Conan O’Brien, Cam Newton, Flea, Guy Fieri, Jimmy Kimmel, LL Cool J, Maria Sharapova, Mark Wahlberg, Robert Kraft, Michael Bay, Rob Dyrdek, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Sylvester Stallone, Li Na, Tom Brady, Trey Parker, and Tyler Perry are all putting money into mixed martial arts’ major leagues. As one might expect, most of those are WME-IMG clients, with exceptions like the fellas from the New England Patriots.
“Expanding our ownership group to include this caliber of talent and entrepreneurs is a strong indicator of UFC’s fast-growing global presence,” the fight league’s President Dana White (pictured above) said. “Our new investors bring an incredible depth of knowledge and experience to help us continue to elevate this brand and capitalize on its entertainment and sports crossover appeal.”
In July 2016, global entertainment and sports leader WME-IMG — joined by Silver Lake Partners, KKR, MSD Capital, L.P. and MSD Partners, L.P. — announced it would acquire UFC, the world’s premier MMA organization. The group paid $4 billion for the privilege.
Founded in 1993, UFC is one of the largest and fastest growing global sports brands. The organization produces more than 40 live events annually and is the largest Pay-Per-View event provider in the world, broadcast in over 156 countries and territories to more than 1.1 billion television households in 29 languages.
Digitally, UFC wholly owns subscription video over-the-top service UFC Fight Pass, which delivers exclusive live events, thousands of fights on-demand and original content to fans around the globe.