The pro wrestling landscape was shaken up in a huge way when Endeavor bought out WWE. This deal won’t see any real money change hands, but WWE and UFC are set to combine into one publicly traded company, with Vince McMahon remaining in control of WWE’s side of things. That being said, it’s still Endeavor’s operation now.
The new unnamed WWE and UFC merger will trade under the symbol TKO and is expected to be valued at $21 billion. According to Endeavor President Mark Shapiro, the company plans to implement a strategy similar to the one that brought success to UFC.
During an interview with Sports Business Journal, Mark Shapiro explained that they will be “running the UFC playbook” for WWE. He also believes that combining the creative talents of Vince McMahon, Dana White, and Ari Emanuel will generate significant value for shareholders.
Mark Shapiro also noted that 80% of WWE’s net revenues come from media and that there is an opportunity for growth in other areas such as sponsorship, licensing, hospitality, and ticketing revenue. Endeavor hopes to develop new stars for WWE through non-scripted series, films, and endorsements as well.
“That’s the strategy. That’s how it has successfully played out for the UFC over the last six years. Remember when we bought it for $4.1 billion? People thought that price was crazy. Now, it is valued at $12.1 billion. I mean, what a story. We hope to do the same thing with the WWE.”
The acquisition of WWE provides a unique opportunity for growth in these areas, and the company is poised to take full advantage of it. Endeavor has a lot of resources and a proven name in the industry, only time will tell if WWE sees an explosion in popularity that they’re looking for.
What’s your take on WWE and UFC’s new company? Do you think this is a great idea? Sound off in the comments!