Believe it or not, the likes of Cam Newton, Tom Brady, Ben Affleck, and several other celebrities are now part owners of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
WME | IMG recently purchased the UFC from Zuffa LLC for $4.2 billion. WME | IMG is a talent agency that represents numerous celebrities from actors to musicians to athletes and more.
Less than three months after WME | IMG purchased the world’s leading fight promotion, it decided to offer a small ownership stake to several celebrities in an effort to put mixed martial arts’ acceptance as a mainstream sport on display.
“I think it’s a mainstream sport now,” co-chief executive Ari Emanuel told the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news. UFC officials, including president Dana White, later confirmed the report.
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Although financial details weren’t disclosed, the report revealed that 23 celebrities, the majority of which are represented by WME | IMG, bought a stake in the UFC. The list of new co-owners includes the aforementioned Newton, Brady, and Affleck, as well as Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Venus and Serena Williams, Mark Wahlberg, Adam Levine, and Tyler Perry, amongst others.
In addition to the ownership expansion, WME | IMG reportedly has more plans in store for its new sports property. Plans include expanding the offerings on the UFC digital subscription service, UFC Fight Pass, as well as planning for more movie roles and other entertainment opportunities for UFC fighters.
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