WME/IMG Acquires UFC
July 12, 2016
WME/IMG, Beverly Hills, Calif., recently announced the acquisition of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) for a record $4 billion.
The company will serve as the brand’s operating partner, focusing on accelerating mixed martial arts’ popularity and worldwide presence.
Upon closing the deal, Lorenzo Fertitta, chairman and CEO of UFC, will step down from day-to-day operations, but Frank Fertitta III and Lorenzo Fertitta will retain a passive minority interest in the organization.
Founded in 1993, UFC is one of the largest and fastest growing sports brands in the world, particularly among Millennials. The organization produces more than 40 live events annually that are broadcast via pay-per-view format in more than 156 countries and territories to nearly 1.1 billion television households worldwide, in 29 different languages.
Since its centennial event in 2009, UFC has undertaken a number of measures to increase awareness among fans globally, expanding its presence in Europe, Latin America and Asia, and adding women’s divisions.
In addition to its sports marketing and global events portfolio, WME/IMG also represents a diverse roster of artists and content creators across various entertainment verticals, including motion pictures, television, music, books, digital and theater. Its sports client roster ranges from professional athletes, and sports federations and leagues, to more than 200 collegiate institutions via its IMG College division. — M.Q.