The partnership and sponsorship teams of the UFC and WWE have been merged by TKO Group Holdings, a subsidiary of the Endeavour holding company.
TKO believes that the merger will open up significant opportunities for UFC and WWE in sponsorship and partnerships by streamlining cooperation between worldwide sales, activations and operations teams.
Collectively, these UFC and WWE teams are distributed across New York, Las Vegas, Stamford (Connecticut), London, São Paulo, Sydney, Shanghai and Toronto.
The new unit’s primary task will be to generate revenue opportunities and brand integrations based around UFC and WWE live and original content.
This latest move by TKO represents closer collaboration between the UFC and WWE since they merged under one entity last year, with Endeavour being the majority owners of both companies.
Andrew Schleimer, TKO Chief Financial Officer, said: “Since Endeavor acquired UFC in 2016, UFC’s global partnerships business has become a significant growth area, and we believe WWE’s partnerships business has similar potential.
“Together, UFC and WWE create a sports marketing powerhouse, with hundreds of live events per year and a reach that’s equal to, or better than, the world’s biggest sports properties.
“The newly integrated global partnerships team will offer premium brands the opportunity to integrate and activate within UFC’s and WWE’s extraordinarily popular content to engage their massive fan bases around the world.”
Further details of the combined unit will see Grant Norris-Jones take leadership of the division as Executive Vice President and Head of Global Partnerships for TKO, whilst Lou Koskovolis will become Executive Vice President of Global Partnerships.
The duo, and the teams they will lead, have been tasked with building on the extensive partnership and sponsorship activations conducted by both UFC and WWE during the duration of Enedavor’s ownership.
In the case of UFC, the MMA promotion – the biggest organiser of MMA events globally – has signed high-profile deals with Monster Energy and PRIME Hydration, and like many other high-profile US sports organisations, has been seeking inroads in the betting and cryptocurrency spaces via deals with DraftKings and Crypto.com.
The WWE, meanwhile, has signed agreements with a range of ‘blue chip brands’, particularly in the entertainment and food/beverage/restaurant industry, such as Netflix, PepsiCo, Pizza Hut, Slim Jim and Snickers.