Former WME-IMG exec takes position with Trump Administration
January 20, 2017
Chris Liddell, the global CFO at WME-IMG has taken a post with the newly installed Trump Administration as reported by Deadline.com and the Hollywood Reporter.
As we know, WME-IMG purchased the UFC this past summer. Ari Emmanuel, the former Hollywood agent for President Donald Trump, met with Emmanuel shortly after he was elected president. The substance of the discussions was not made public. Despite their relationship, Emmanuel is considered someone that supports Democrats.
Liddell will take on the role of adviser and has been named an assistant and director of strategic initiatives for the new administration. He had provided advice to President Trump in appointments during the post-election transition.
The appointment is key if you are one to connect dots. The expansion of the Ali Act to include combat sports (i.e., MMA) is still an active bill in the House. The UFC is opposed to this legislation and has lobbied against it. The appointment of Liddell to a post within the Trump Administration might be the death knell for the success of passing this bill. While we might believe that all parties will have an open mind on the bill, you have to wonder if a former executive of the company that owns the UFC would advise the President to veto such legislation if it got to that point. More likely, the bill gets buried before even getting to the Senate.