TKO Group Holding (TKO) has combined the UFC and WWE Live Events teams into one unit to bolster its live events portfolios.

Following the merger, the TKO Live Events Strategy Team will take the helm in steering revenue growth strategies across vital sectors. This includes live event development and scheduling, tourism incentive programmes, ticketing, and enhancing fan experiences. 

The establishment of this new structure aims to optimise event revenue potential, pursue avenues for growth and capitalise on cost synergies.

Peter Dropick – a pivotal figure in UFC’s live event success for nearly two decades and a key member of the senior executive team behind UFC’s five years of record revenue – has been promoted to lead the integrated unit as Executive Vice President, Event Development and Operations for TKO.

Dropick will collaborate closely with leaders from UFC, WWE, and TKO, including Dana White (UFC President and CEO), Paul Levesque (WWE Chief Content Officer), Lawrence Epstein (UFC COO), Nick Khan (WWE President), and Andrew Schleimer (TKO CFO), to capitalise on the global popularity of UFC and WWE and further develop TKO’s live events business both domestically and internationally.

Schleimer commented: “Demand for live sports and entertainment has never been stronger, and we believe our portfolio of events will continue to drive the growth of our business. 

“The newly integrated TKO Live Events Strategy Team will focus on creating operational efficiencies and developing strategies to leverage the broader economic benefits we bring to host cities, including partnering with local governments and maximising revenue opportunities from site fees.”

The merger of the UFC and WWE events teams forms part of TKO’s wider strategy to further integrate the business functions of the two assets. Back in January, the holding group undertook a similar move with the UFC and WWE partnership teams.

Despite reporting a Q1 loss earlier this month, TKO remained optimistic about its 2024 revenue forecast. The firm has raised projections for year-end, citing the September 2023 merger as a driving force. 

Additionally, UFC’s revenue uptick to $313m and WWE’s $316.7m contribution indicated growth in the results, although a net loss of $249.5m was reported due to a $335m settlement related to a UFC antitrust matter

Following the report both organisations have continued to grow. In April, WrestleMania 40 and UFC 300 made headlines and amassed significant viewing figures. 

WrestleMania drew its largest-ever viewership and set a WWE gate record with 145,000 fans over two days in Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field. Meanwhile, UFC 300 became one of the highest-grossing events in UFC history, boasting a gate of $16.5m and setting a UFC attendance record with 20,067 fans at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.

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