23 celebrities have been drafted into the group of investors
Tom Brady and Serena Williams are among an impressive list of 23 celebrities who have invested in the UFC.
The franchise was recently sold to a Hollywood talent agency called the William Morris Endeavor-International Management Group (WME-IMG) for $4 billion in July in what has been labelled one of the most lucrative transactions in the history of sport.
It also demonstrates the growth of the sport's wealth since the brothers Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, first purchased it in 2001 for $2 million.
WME-IMG has now compiled a list of celebrities who are investing a minimum of $250,000 to help finance that acquisition.
In addition to Patriots' quarterback and 22-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams, other high profile entertainment figures including Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chilli Peppers frontman), Mark Wahlberg and Sylvester Stallone have also been enlisted for the project.
Television host Conan O'Brien announced his inclusion in the investment deal during his show this week:
A report in The Wall Street Journal writes that WME-IMG co-CEO Ari Emanuel pitched the idea to celebrities who he 'knew to be fans of the sport.' Terms and conditions of the deal however, were not disclosed.
In a statement today, UFC President Dana White wrote:
"Expanding our ownership group to include this caliber of talent and entrepreneurs is a strong indicator of UFC's fast-growing global presence. Our new investors bring an incredible depth of knowledge and experience to help us continue to elevate this brand and capitalize on its entertainment and sports crossover appeal."
Here's the full list of investors:
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