In recent months, the UFC has made quite the stir. While much of the sporting world has found themselves with empty calendars devoid of competition and playing schedules, the UFC has instead forged ahead. Even despite critics insisting that it was too soon for a return to packed stadiums, Dana White has been adamant in his quest to see sport return to normal and so it was that a sold-out crowd of 15,259 fans packed the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville for the pay-per-view card, the first full capacity indoor sporting event to take place int he US since the global pandemic came to stalk the world in March of 2020.
By all appearances, the UFC continues to go from strength to strength. Now, Dana White has made another announcement, one he never really intended to happen. Thanks to the successful IPO of parent company Endeavour Group Holdings, the world’s leading MMA promotion is now a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.
Endeavour Group Holdings began trading at $24 per share when the NYSE opened on Thursday, as ESPN first reported. The initial public offering began about a month after Endeavour filed an S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission with the intent to trade publicly. In doing so, Endeavour entered into an agreement to up its ownership stake in the UFC from 50.1 per cent to 100 per cent.
In the S-1 filing, Endeavour executive Ari Emanuel said, “As challenging a year as 2020 was, it underscored the strength, creativity, and resilience of our people who mobilised time and time again in the face of overwhelming odds. We made difficult decisions but worked as a team to find creative solutions and best position the business for the future.”
“As the global pandemic unfolded, we developed the protocols necessary to help our businesses safely restart operations, providing a model for other professional sports, events, and programs. UFC and PBR were two of the first sports organisations to responsibly return last spring, and we followed int he summer by hosting the WNBA’s at IMG Academy. In the fall, we brought New York Fashion Week to life, becoming one of the first major events to resume in New York City.”
Though many have been quick to offer a cautionary tale of overvalued and over-hyped IPOs, the new venture for the UFC is still a remarkable one and speaks of its continued success.