MMA News: New owners of the UFC from Hollywood and more!
Professional sport is and always has been a profit hub for investment in the United States. The UFC has begun to dominate the field, hosting lucrative pay-per-views competing with other sporting leagues like NFL, NHL and MLB; gaining the attention of celebrities. This probably explains why the UFC now has celebrities investing in it.
According to mmajunkie.com, the UFC has released a list of 23 celebrities who have bought the company’s stocks and now are the co-owners of the franchise.
The new prime owner of the UFC, William Morris Endeavor-International Management Group (WME-IMG) had bought the UFC recently from the Fertitta brothers for $4.2 billion.
This was the most expensive transaction in the history of professional sports. So it was no surprise the deal helped the franchise garner further attention from the mainstream audience.
The UFC has released the list of the new co-owners of the company that would include sports stars, TV personalities, Hollywood stars and singers- Ben Affleck, Michael Bay, Tom Brady, Rob Dyrdek, Guy Fieri, Flea, Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye, Calvin Harris, Anthony Kiedis, Jimmy Kimmel, Robert Kraft, Adam Levine, Li Na, LL Cool J, Cam Newton, Conan O’Brien, Trey Parker, Tyler Perry, Maria Sharapova, Sylvester Stallone, Mark Wahlberg, Serena Williams and Venus Williams.
The talk show host, O’Brien announced the news during his show and also his purchase of stocks of the company, and then joked about him competing in the ‘Octagon’ against Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey and Maria Sharapova. O’Brien is represented by WWE-IMG and cited that as the reason he even got to buy the shares in the first place.
“Expanding our ownership group to include this caliber of talent and entrepreneurs is a strong indicator of the UFC’s fast-growing global presence,” UFC President Dana White 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.”
The WME-IMG co-owner Ari Emanuel revealed that most of these celebrities would always ask for tickets for UFC events and hence, ended up selecting them. He also indicated the company’s hunger for more talents from various parts of the world. “I think it’s a mainstream sport now.”