The Future. After making UFC a cornerstone of its business over the past decade, Endeavor has struck a deal with WWE to combine the two combat-sports organizations into one behemoth brand. The merger proves how important sports has become to Endeavor and may show that the company’s new North Star is mixing premium live events with a flywheel of branded media.
Endeavor now holds the title of the world’s biggest combat-sports company.
- Endeavor closed a deal to merge its UFC brand with WWE in a new publicly-traded company that will list under the ticker TKO.
- Endeavor will hold a 51% controlling interest in the company, with WWE shareholders owning 49%.
- Ari Emanuel will be CEO, while WWE’s Vince McMahon will become executive chairman of the to-be-named company.
The combined company will have a reported value of over $21 billion.
Ultimate Fighting Company
Endeavor has aggressive plans for the new company.
- It plans to amp up the number of fights and live events WWE and UFC put on (and content around those fights).
- It will also look to milk as much value as possible out of media-rights deals to host matches or license fight-branded films and shows.
With WME, Endeavor also hopes to make more stars out of fighting talent, as it has done with Dwayne Johnson, John Cena, and Ronda Rousey.