In a press release today, TKO disclosed that the global partnership teams of WWE and UFC have been merged into a single unit. The newly formed team is headed by TKO’s Executive Vice Presidents, Grant Norris-Jones and Lou Koskovolis. The collaboration aims to capitalize on the potential to offer joint sponsorship and business partnership deals for both UFC and WWE events.
TKO Press Release:
TKO Merges UFC® and WWE® Global Partnerships Teams to Create Sports Marketing Powerhouse
Combined Unit to Offer Blue-Chip Brands Unprecedented Integration within Two of the World’s Most Iconic Sports and Entertainment Properties
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)– TKO Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: TKO), a premium sports and entertainment company, today announced that it has combined the UFC and WWE global partnerships teams into one unit, providing brands with access to one of the most formidable sports marketing portfolios in the world.
UFC and WWE, which collectively serve more than one billion young and diverse fans in 170 countries, provide brand partners unparalleled scale and reach across multiple platforms, including premium live events, original content, and digital media. Further powered and enhanced by the Endeavor flywheel, the company’s global infrastructure that also includes IMG’s dynamic sales teams around the world, UFC and WWE together can offer marketers significantly expanded inventory, vastly increased brand visibility, extensive international reach, and unique integration opportunities across UFC and WWE premier content.
Grant Norris-Jones, who has played a key role in driving UFC’s global partnerships to six consecutive years of record revenue, has been elevated to lead the integrated unit as Executive Vice President and Head of Global Partnerships for TKO, which includes the entirety of UFC and WWE properties. Norris-Jones will work alongside Lou Koskovolis, who is also taking on an expanded role as TKO’s Executive Vice President of Global Partnerships. Together, they will focus on delivering unique, authentic integrations for TKO’s corporate partners. This new joint effort will further benefit from additional support and collaboration with the Endeavor Partnerships team to maximize value for brands across the entire Endeavor portfolio of assets.
With partnership sales, activations, and operations teams in New York, Las Vegas, Stamford, Conn., London, Sao Paulo, Sydney, Shanghai, and Toronto, the newly combined unit will focus on creating new revenue opportunities and brand integrations across UFC’s and WWE’s must-watch live and original content.
“Since Endeavor acquired UFC in 2016, UFC’s global partnerships business has become a significant growth area,” said Andrew Schleimer, Chief Financial Officer, TKO, “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.”
In recent years, UFC has partnered with brands that are consumer product and category leaders, including Anheuser-Busch, Crypto.com, DraftKings, Jose Cuervo, Monster Energy, PRIME Hydration, Timex, and VeChain.
In addition, WWE has worked with dozens of blue-chip brands across its roster of promotional assets. Over the last year, WWE has activated with Applebee’s, General Mills, Mattel, Netflix, PepsiCo, Pizza Hut, Slim Jim, and Snickers.