UFC: Tom Wright to Head Canadian Office

May 25, 2010

Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta have announced that former commissioner of the CFL, Tom Wright, will head the Canadian Office of the UFC in Toronto, Ontario.

“I am pleased to announce we are opening an office in Canada, and that Tom Wright, who is so respected and accomplished here in Canada, will lead our business in this critically important market,” said Fertitta.  “This will be the second international office for the UFC, and much like our UK operation, this presence will allow us to better serve the fans and businesses here, and to continue on our path of global expansion.”

With a successful sports business career spanning more than 25 years, Wright will serve as Director, Canadian Operations for the Ultimate Fighting Championship organization. In this role, he will focus on improving and strengthening UFC’s relations within local communities, provincial governments, Canadian businesses and the national and local media. Wright will build upon the efforts to regulate the sport of mixed martial arts in Ontario, and as he stated today, toward implementing a regular UFC events schedule that would include holding up to three UFC events per year in Canada. The UFC also pledged to develop a program to support local community sports with resources put back into the many regions of the country that have so strongly embraced the sport of mixed martial arts.

Payout Perspective:

UFC Canada is smart for a number of reasons:

  • UFC Canada symbolizes the UFC’s commitment to Canada – sending a statement to the fans and the government.
  • It gives the UFC a sustained presence in the country, which will undoubtedly help to main pressure on the government.
  • The office is strategically placed in arguably the UFC’s biggest market.
  • The timing of this announcement is also key in the sense that it helps to maintain the momentum that MMA has generated in the Canadian press over the last few months (first with GSP’s fight at 111, then 113 in Montreal, and in two weeks, UFC 115 in Vancouver).

The announcement of Tom Wright is interesting; being a former Adidas and Soloman guy, I imagine there might have been a connection there with Bryan Johnston (UFC CMO – hired last year).

Edit: I’ve now seen part of the earlier press conference – that would seem to be the case.

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