Back in July this year, the Ultimate Fighting Championship was acquired by a group led by WME | IMG, a worldwide entertainment, sports and fashion leader, for around US$4 billion.
Just three months into the management structure and a host of new celebrity figures from Adam Levine, Anthony Kiedis, Ben Affleck, Calvin Harris, LL COOL J and Mark Wahlberg have been drafted in as new owners.
It’s a strategy that should help the sport expand beyond its traditional fanbase to reach millions of people from the worlds of fashion, music, entertainment and sport.
In total some 23 new owners have officially taken minority stakes.
Others include American filmmaker Michael Bay, business magnate Robert Kraft, Serena Williams, Sylvester Stallone, Tom Brady, Trey Parker, Tyler Perry and Venus Williams.
UFC president Dana White said expanding its ownership group to include new talent and entrepreneurs is a strong indicator of UFC’s fast-growing global presence.
“Our new investors bring an incredible depth of knowledge and experience to help us continue to elevate this brand and capitalise on its entertainment and sports crossover appeal,” he said in a statement.
Only time will tell if this will benefit the promotion and the fighters, however, one thing that is for certain is that big pay-per-view events will become a haven for celebrities and their friends which will definitely bring more eyes.