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Dwayne Johnson joins TKO Group board and secures full ownership of ‘The Rock’ trademark


Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson – renowned actor, former WWE star, and the most-followed American man on global social media platforms – has been appointed to the board of directors of TKO Group, a publicly traded company comprising the UFC and WWE. The announcement was made on Tuesday, marking a significant move for both Johnson and the sports entertainment conglomerate.

A wrestling legend, 51-year-old Johnson boasts an impressive record as an eight-time WWE champion. In conjunction with his appointment to the board, Johnson has been granted full ownership of the iconic ‘The Rock’ trademark, previously owned by WWE. Additionally, Johnson has inked a new services and merchandising agreement with WWE, outlining provisions for promotional, licensing and other services.

“Being on the TKO Board of Directors, and taking full ownership of my name, ‘The Rock’, is not only unprecedented, but incredibly inspiring as my crazy life is coming full circle,” Johnson said in a statement.

“At my core, I’m a builder who builds for and serves the people, and [TKO CEO] Ari [Emanuel] is building something truly game changing.

“I’m very motivated to help continue to globally expand our TKO, WWE, and UFC businesses as the worldwide leaders in sports and entertainment — while proudly representing so many phenomenal athletes and performers who show up every day putting in the hard work with their own two hands to make their dreams come true and deliver for our audiences. I’ve been there, I’m still there and this is for them.”

The multitalented Johnson – known for his ventures beyond the wrestling ring, including a successful acting career that began with his role in 2001’s The Mummy Returns, as well as business interests in Seven Bucks Productions, Teremana Tequila, Zoa Energy and the Under Armour apparel line Project Rock – remains deeply connected to TKO’s properties. Johnson will portray MMA legend Mark Kerr in an upcoming movie and continues to champion the UFC, where he is a partner in the recently merged United Football League.

Vince McMahon, TKO’s executive chairman, acknowledged Johnson’s unique understanding of sports, entertainment, media, and business.

“Very few people on the planet understand the convergence of sports, entertainment, media, and business like ‘Rock’,” McMahon praised.

“We are proud to have him join the TKO board to help take our company to new heights.”

‘The Rock’ moniker comes from Johnson’s original name in WWE, Rocky Maivia, which was a tribute to his family. Johnson is a third-generation professional wrestler. His grandfather was ‘High Chief’ Peter Maivia, and his father was Rocky Johnson, who was the first Black champion in WWE history (winning the tag-team title with Tony Atlas). Both are in the WWE Hall of Fame.

“My grandfather, ‘High Chief’ Peter Maivia, and my dad, Rocky ‘Soulman’ Johnson, would’ve never thought this day would come,” Johnson continued in his statement.

“Which is why I’m very humbled to have a seat at the table that has decades of history and family legacy for me. A table that my family helped to build.”

With the appointment of Johnson and Brad Keywell, CEO of artificial intelligence company Uptake Technologies, TKO Group’s board expands to 13 members, reinforcing its commitment to innovation and growth.

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