February 27, 2017
Originally posted 2018-11-19 11:19:31
By Toshia Smith | Editor: Kristen Daly | www.amdlawgroup.com
In June of this year, it was reported that the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) had been sold for a staggering $4.2 billion. This sale represents the largest sports acquisition to ever occur. UFC was sold to Beverly Hills talent agency William Morris Endeavor Entertainment (WME-IMG). Unlike normal sports acquisitions that involve teams or leagues, this purchase is unique in that it involves a promotional company rather than a sport itself. UFC is a promotional company that hosts premiere mixed martial arts competitions featuring the top-ranked fighters in the sport.
Earlier in the year, UFC President Dana White stated that the UFC was not for sale. White was one of four owners of the company, but his shares have dwindled as the UFC was sold as a whole and not in part. It has been reported that while the former heads of UFC are out, White will stay on as the face of the company.
The UFC has grown immensely over the years. One question that will linger over time is whether WME-IMG will take UFC to higher grounds or allow it to comfortably coast at its current position in the sports landscape. WME-IMG, which is most notably known for repping Hollywood starlets, now has an entire franchise at its control. Will UFC become a division of WME-IMG? Will the new management try to bring star power to the sport by comingling film, television, and digital deals with UFC? Will UFC fans shy away from the influx of bigger corporate sponsors or embrace the new regime? Only time will tell, but one thing for sure: UFC is here to stay.
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