The UFC Is Now A Public Traded Company
With UFC's parent company, Endeavor, going public, what does this mean for the future of the championship? Read on to know more.
The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) is one of the most valuable and well-known professional mixed martial arts leagues and has gone on to become a multibillion-dollar enterprise, which is now open to invest in through its parent company Endeavor.
Established in 1993, the UFC's primary business was to produce some of the biggest martial arts events around the world, with some of the highest-rated fighters amongst its rosters featuring big names like Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Spearheading deals with major companies like Reebok, ESPN, or even Love Hemp - a multi-million-dollar deal in the middle of a pandemic - the deals, which are usually headed by Dana White who has been the president of UFC since 2001, possess a net worth of around $500 Million!
Being a company that is known worldwide, news of the business going public garnered widespread attention from all over the world. To give a short summary for those who may not be aware, up until recently it was impossible for a person to be able to invest in the multi-billion dollar franchise itself. However with the acquisition of the UFC by Endeavor in 2016 (for a whopping sum of $4 billion dollars, no less!) the company with a 50.1% share stake first decided to take the UFC public in 2019. However due to the weak market, they dropped their first IPO plan.
So what does this mean for the company going forward? Many people were worried that with outside investors, the environment of the UFC would change - but Dana White quickly addressed this concern stating that the company would continue operating as it has over the years and more investors mean more money entering the UFC, and with more money, they can expand and offer more options and promotions. With reports of having already earned $500 million since the company went public on April 29th of this year and additional plans for the summer, there seems to only be one way for the UFC to go, and that's up!
The past year has been a serious trial for the parent company Endeavor due to the COVID-19 global pandemic and massive industries, where Endeavor operates mainly with the film and television industry, have had to halt all productions because of the restrictions. However, the parent company has managed to sustain itself thanks to the UFC promoting matches during the pandemic, the subscription service known as UFC Fight Pass going up 40% and their highest pay-per-view sales in 2020 alone.
Additionally, Endeavor is also using the UFC as an inspiration to aid other businesses - their business model pertaining to social media, the subscriptions to sales turnover and dealing with their roster is being used to help other companies in the entertainment industry and is even contributing to NFTs! As a result, Endeavor has also added Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and Space X, to the board of directors to add more value and make them seem more appealing to investors.
Circling back to the matter at hand, the news of the UFC going public is great news for long-time fans of MMA - not only does this allow them to invest in the company and help support it, but this causes the UFC to do more to attract investors. UFC as a brand already offers various free content, constantly creating a better experience for the viewers by adding new weight classes or championship belts, but with more investments, this allows the company as a whole to offer more than they already do, making a sweeter entertainment experience for the existing viewers.
An example of this is the aforementioned plan for the coming summer which will host some of the biggest events in UFC history showcasing matches between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor - which will mark the comeback of the latter, and the heavyweight fight between Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones - with the former holding a heavyweight title.
Going public also makes fans feel like they are a major part of history for the company. This can clearly be witnessed with people and ardent fans all over, buying shares in the company and feeling like they are supporting their favourite sport and organisation in their own personal way. Only time will tell the true extent of this radical change and how it has affected the company and franchise in the long run, but from where we stand right now, the deal sure seems sweet.