TKO Group Holdings unites UFC and WWE global partnerships teams for unprecedented brand opportunities
In a move that promises to reshape the landscape of sports marketing, TKO Group Holdings, a newly formed entity under Endeavor, has announced the consolidation of the global partnerships teams for two of the biggest names in combat sports and entertainment – the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
The decision underscores a deliberate effort to amplify sponsorship potential and revenue generation for TKO, following the UFC’s merger with WWE in April.
Heading this newly integrated unit is Grant Norris-Jones, who assumes the role of Executive Vice President and Head of Global Partnerships for TKO. Working in tandem with him is Lou Koskovolis, who takes on an expanded role as TKO’s Executive Vice President of Global Partnerships. The move aligns with TKO’s strategic vision to provide marketers with a unified platform, offering expanded inventory, increased brand visibility, extensive international reach and unique integration possibilities across both UFC and WWE.
Lawrence Epstein, the UFC’s Chief Operating Officer, provided insights into the collaborative future of UFC and WWE under the TKO umbrella. Epstein foresees significant collaboration and marketing initiatives between the two entities, emphasising a shared commitment to creating synergistic opportunities. TKO aims to position itself as a sports marketing powerhouse, leveraging hundreds of live events per year and a fan base equal to – or surpassing – the world’s biggest sports properties.
Andrew Schleimer, TKO’s Chief Financial Officer, expressed confidence in the potential for growth in WWE’s partnerships business, drawing parallels with the success witnessed since Endeavor’s acquisition of UFC in 2016.
“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,” Schleimer asserted.
“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.”
With a shared portfolio of big-name brand partners – including Anheuser-Busch, Monster Energy, PepsiCo and Pizza Hut – TKO anticipates increased cross-promotion between UFC and WWE. The move is expected to usher in a new era of collaboration, from sponsorships to packaged events, offering marketers innovative ways to connect with diverse audiences globally.
The consolidation of UFC and WWE’s global partnerships teams within TKO Group Holdings signifies a landmark moment for sports marketing. As TKO establishes itself as a global powerhouse, brands can look forward to unparalleled opportunities to align with two of the most iconic names in combat sports and entertainment.
The collaboration between UFC and WWE under the TKO banner is poised to redefine sponsorship and engagement in the sports business realm, setting the stage for dynamic and innovative ventures in the years ahead.