Celebrities invest in UFC

September 30, 2016

The Wall Street Journal reports that celebrities will hold an ownership interest in the UFC.  23 celebrities including Ben Affleck, Adam Levine and Serena and Venus Williams are investing in the company.

Per the WSJ, it’s the “most significant business move” since the sale of the UFC this past July.  Terms of the celebrity investments weren’t disclosed.  WME-IMG purchased the UFC for a reported $4 billion.  According to the article, Ari Emmanuel sought out the celebrities he knew to be fans of the sport and who would be willing to market the sport and influence their fans that it is more than a niche sport.

The news comes at the beginning of the hype for the company’s debut in New York November 5th.

Updated, per Darren Rovell, here is a list of those celebrities that invested in the UFC.  Each paid $250K.

Payout Perspective:

The news should not be of a surprise to anyone considering the entity that purchased the UFC this past summer.  Certainly the investment is a part of each celebrity’s financial portfolio so I would opine that this is not 50 Cent investing in Vitamin Water.  Yet, we are seeing the leverage that the new owners have in promoting and extending the reach of the UFC brand.

22 Responses to “Celebrities invest in UFC”

  1. Combo on September 30th, 2016 6:12 PM

    Nice. Even celebrities realize the growth of the UFC as it takes over combat sports, wanting a piece of the action.

  2. Fight Fan on September 30th, 2016 7:04 PM

    Lol guess the new owners need some new money to recoup lol. Too many chefs spoil the soup.

  3. Chris on September 30th, 2016 7:11 PM

    More about having them associated with the brand, you already see Kimmel and Conan talking about UFC on their shows.

    This cant hurt.

    and Combo UFC isnt taking over combat sports, its already taken over.

    Look at 205, compare that to what any other combat sport is doing, not even close. UFC just brought the best card they’ve ever had to MSG with their biggest star.

    Gonna be another record setting night, should break MSG gate record.

  4. Caramel City on October 1st, 2016 1:26 AM

    Ward-Kovalev is better than 205.

    Canelo-Smith does 18m in Mexico.
    UFC 205 wont be seen by 18m viewers globally.

  5. Caramel City on October 1st, 2016 3:05 AM

    Jay Z is bigger and richer than every celebrity on that list.
    He invested into boxing.
    It means nothing

    What UFC fans rave about is old news for boxing fans.

  6. tops E on October 1st, 2016 5:35 AM

    Hahahaha…what is this? Getting back the 4 B? Hahahaha… dw the dictator now will have has many bosses

  7. Cutch on October 1st, 2016 11:20 AM

    Yeah Jay Z is richer than Robert Kraft the owner of the Patriots, Jesus Christ, by the way he’s worth $5.2 billion, Jay Z, Beyonce, Destiny’s Child, Rockafella, Rihanna and whoever else is linked to him, whatever number you bring up that Jay Z owns isn’t worth half of that idiot.

    I am also being generous leaving it at half.

  8. Cutch on October 1st, 2016 11:28 AM

    If certain people only bought in for $250,000, that’s a tiny % of $4.2 billion, so these people are not his bosses, Ari Emanuel is.

    Ari Emanuel has a lot more contacts in the right places, the guy is a monster negotiating deals for clients and has players in every industry from Music, to Films to Sports Stars , he also got the UFC their TV contract with Fox in 2011.

  9. Chris on October 1st, 2016 12:23 PM

    Ward/Kovalev is a great fight but saying its better than 205 makes you look like an idiot troll.

    .
    205 is better than any boxing card, all of them. No boxing card will ever come close to the depth of that card.

  10. Combo on October 1st, 2016 12:46 PM

    Chris, you’re right that MMA has taken over – definitely in some demographics and geographic regions. I didn’t want to upset the loyal boxing fans, some of which are in denial ever since the rise of the UFC. Boxing isn’t what it used to be.

    “This is part of the reason why the UFC is a lot more popular than boxing.”
    – Jimmy Kimmel

    http://entertainment.ie/tv/news/Jimmy-Kimmel-praised-Conor-McGregors-comedic-timing-on-his-show-last-night/385870.htm

  11. Fight Fan on October 1st, 2016 2:40 PM

    When ufc can sell a ppv with 4 million buys then they can claim they have taken over.

  12. Chris on October 1st, 2016 3:35 PM

    Fight Fan yeah that PPv did huge and everyone including boxing writers agree that hurt the sport more than it helped.

    How many million buy PPV have they done since that fight? None.

    Meanwhile UFC has done 4 since Nov and will have a 5th come Nov.

    Deny it all you want its not changing things, even boxing writers who hate mma agree, Steve Kim, shit Lampley even said it and he despises mma.

    Not one of these boxing is dead idiots, its not but its not riding a high right now. UFC is. Two years ago UFC was riding a low in 2014 and bounced back. Boxing can and probably will too but right now UFC is so much bigger than boxing in US.

    And next year could be bigger if Ronda, GSP come back and maybe Brock/Jones have their USADA stuff taken care of, UFC could have its 5 biggest stars.

    They are already gonna break the PPV record, if Ronda comes back to fight on NYE they will do over 9 million buys this year.

    McGregor by himself with two fights is gonna do more than all of boxings PPV combined.

    But but Floyd/Manny did 4 mill buys years ago.

  13. Cutch on October 1st, 2016 4:33 PM

    When US Boxing can sell over 600, 000 PPV buys in one fight in 2016, please let me know.

    The UFC have beaten that number easily with 196, 200 & 202 and will easily do it again at 205. There are rumours of GSP at Toronto at 206 & Rousey at 207, so you would have half the UFC’s PPVs in 2016 beating Boxings biggest Boxing’s biggest fight.

    I guarantee 205 sells more PPVs than Ward-Kovalev easily doubles it in fact.

  14. tops E on October 1st, 2016 9:16 PM

    Its chinese investor then ari then movie stars…dw’s new bosses hahahaha

  15. tops E on October 1st, 2016 9:19 PM

    Paid so much to the fertitas they now need cash to operate? Hahahaha

  16. Combo on October 2nd, 2016 2:15 PM

    A true measure of PPV success is having high buy rates on a regular basis and high overall yearly buy rates, which the UFC has over boxing, instead of a once in a generation extreme buy rate that does not reflect the normal state.

    In fact, that 4 million buy rate is more of a reflection of how starved the boxing public has been for a great match-up, since boxing ain’t what it used to be (remember when the average person could name who the HW champion of the world was?) Even that “Fight of the Century” should have occurred 6 years prior. And it was anything but “Fight of the Century”, turning off most viewers and probably steering more towards MMA and the new kings of combat sports like McGregor.

    And even if an extremely high buy rate were a marker of success, when is the next time boxing will put on such a show? It’s not even on the horizon. Can’t even meet your own standard. But it’s the only thing threatened boxing fans can hang on to. Meanwhile, UFC keeps growing into the mainstream consciousness and hitting new milestones, like premièring at MSG with a stacked card – a rarity in boxing.

    The future belongs to MMA.

  17. tops E on October 3rd, 2016 12:32 AM

    Hahaha…premiering at msg( whats the big deal?)..7 years too late hahahaha…UFC is what? 80 percent of the whole sport? so the sport is worth what 5 billion? really small globally haha…what other sport globally can be bought? hahaha

  18. Wil on October 3rd, 2016 3:53 AM

    Once again, here in the USA, UFC is definitely more popular on average than boxing with suburban white America, boxing is more popular with inner city black and latino fans.

  19. Chris on October 3rd, 2016 3:00 PM

    when you have to keep typing hahaha it means you have nothing to say and most likely what you are saying isnt funny.

    Tops typed that out 4 times in one paragraph. thats when you know he’s not saying a damn thing. Cant think of nothing real to say.

    7 years too late which is why the venue will be sold out and they will probably break the 16 mill MSG gate record.

    Dont know why the boxing trolls on this fight cant just be real, when something is good or bad, they are that threatened by mma which is stupid imo.

    Typing hahahaha isnt changing the truth.

  20. Caramel City on October 4th, 2016 2:36 AM

    “This is part of the reason why the UFC is a lot more popular than boxing.”
    – Jimmy Kimmel

    Except for that its not.

    Over 1m viewers in Norway watched a female boxing match this past weekend. Norway has 4-5m ppl in its entire country
    18m viewers in Mexico watched Canelo-Smith

    Mayweather makes McGregors trash talk look cartoonish.
    Every that the UFC is doing has already been done by boxing.

    McGregor is trying to be like Mayweather except for Mayweather never lost after running his mouth. McGregor will never bring that fear like Tyson did to a press conference.
    The UFC will never have a ppv come close to 4.6M
    The UFC will never do 90m viewers for a match in the Unite States like boxing has done.
    The UFC will never have 135k in a stadium like Julio Cesar Chavez did.

    Soon as McGregor loses its over, and hes very likely to lose at UFC 205.

    Also Kovalev-Ward is better than any UFC fight this year.

  21. Random Dude on October 4th, 2016 6:50 AM

    This is not a good sign for the health of the company.

    Celebrities have historically been absolutely horrible investors. If a celebrity invests in something, it is usually a scam or going to fail. This has been true since the beginning of Hollywood.

    More proof that the Fertitta brothers are shrewd business men. Get the money and dump the debt/crap on a bunch of suckers.

  22. Fight Fan on October 4th, 2016 10:50 AM

    True, too many hands in the pot now.

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