UFC May Sell Ownership Stake

October 19, 2009

Dana White recently sat down with Bloomberg TV to discuss the financial progress of the UFC over the last few years. Some interesting things came out the interview:

  • The Fertittas and White (holding 90% and 10% of Zuffa, respecitvely) are open to selling a 10-15% silent stake in the company.
  • White estimates that anywhere between 35-45% of the UFC audience are women.

Payout Perspective:

I’m not sure that this should come as an absolute shock to anybody given the financing decisions that Zuffa has made in the past 18 months. White and the Fertittas have been using loans to issue dividend disbursements in order to realize some of the gains they’ve made in holding the company through its tremendous growth.

Selling a 10-15% silent stake in the company would further allow the ownership to realize their return; and, may I add, at an undisclosed price that they feel represents fair market value.

The real question here is, what do Lorenzo, Frank, and Dana believe Zuffa to be worth? You can bet the answer isn’t founded upon pessimistic projections of future growth and earnings.

Anybody looking to grab a 10% stake in the company is going to have to pay over $100 million at this point.

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Perhaps the bigger shock was White’s estimate of the female contingent that attends live UFC events: approximately 35-45%.

If I’m an advertising partner, I want to know the following: what do they do, what do they like, and what will they buy?

The UFC will no doubt be doing a lot of research into this segment of their audience, because the potential to leverage the F18-49 demographic into another consistent advertising revenue stream is there.

4 Responses to “UFC May Sell Ownership Stake”

  1. Michael Rome on October 19th, 2009 12:29 PM

    I think Dana’s stat is right when it comes to their Las Vegas shows. Those shows are packed with females, I’ve been to a number of them. Kind of figured a bunch were escorts, but maybe not!

  2. Brain Smasher on October 19th, 2009 10:53 PM

    30-35% is about right. I wouldnt go higher than that. There are people like me who go with a group of friends which is almost always guys. But the rest of the stadium is guys with their girl friends or wifes and IMO by the looks of some even escorts. If everyone was there with their date. Thats 50/50. Add in guys night out, gym buddies, friends, etc that pushs the ladies down to at least under 40%. But there is a LOT of ladies and most are very hot. This is my experience from UFC 41 in Atlantic City, NJ. UFC 68 Columbus, OH. UFC 77 Cincinnati, OH. UFC 82 Columbus, OH. UFC 88 in Atlanta, GA. UFC 96 Columbus, OH.

  3. Brain Smasher on October 19th, 2009 11:00 PM

    Another thing that needs to be looked at is the interest level of the females in attendance. Most of these girls are just arm candy. They have no real interest in the sport and are just there with their BF. Look at this like you GF making you go to a Chick Flick(unless you are into that type of thing). If you dont care to be there you are not going to be paying to much attention to whats going on. Therefor whatever advertising (product placement, commercials, etc) will have little effect on you. Marketing to men at a chick flick would not be as good as the number of men in the croud would suggest.

    40% female is a good thing. But a lot more studies need to be done to see if there is any value there for advertisers.

  4. Dave P on October 20th, 2009 1:51 AM

    I would hve to agree that mist of the female audience is there because of their counterparts. They are all wives and girlfriends of fans, not fans themselves. I would guess the actual number of female fans down around 10%

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