After the UFC was sold to Endeavor, fight fans worldwide were scared that the company would shy away from its identity as a brand. Almost similar to how fans had reacted when Spotify became the exclusive home to the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. Recently, the UFC became a public traded company under the Endeavor umbrella. Fans are once again skeptical of how the UFC will handle business due to the change. And having UFC owner Ari Emanuel not know who Weili Zhang is, wasn’t the best start to their next chapter.
UFC Goes Public
As of April 29th, the UFC became a publicly traded company. The news came as the Endeavor IPO becomes official, as the company has begun selling today in the New York Stock Exchange. The official trade symbol of the listing for purchase is marked as $EDR.
Dana White made this statement on Instagram courtesy of a video post. Later, Emanuel appeared on CNBC to speak about the news. However, he completely fumbled the name of his company’s former champion.
UFC-owner Endeavor going public on the NYSE this morning.
— Squawk on the Street (@SquawkStreet) April 29, 2021
“Well, here’s what I would say to you: even during the pandemic – we didn’t have live audiences, we didn’t have commercial PPVs – we beat our EBITA [earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization] number by 10%,” said Ari.
“Now with the re-opening, you just saw we had live audiences for the first time. In Houston, we’re going to have a live audience. In July we’re having another live audience. Our direct-to-consumer business on Fight Pass is up 40%. Our commercial numbers and marketing numbers are up. China is going to be bigger than ever.
“Actually, because of the fight – even though our Chinese champion lost, Li Na – there was over a billion video views out of China.”
Ari Had No Idea of Weili Zhang
Cue the Nick Young, puzzled meme face. Li Na? How about Weili Zhang, former UFC strawweight champion.
The mixup is genuinely a concern to how out-of-touch executives can be with their product. What a way to fumble on one of the biggest days in company history. Nonetheless, the UFC should be just fine in the future.
We’re sure many people made Ari aware of the mistake, and he won’t make it again.