UFC’s celebrity investors have a chokehold on $300M dividend

Discussion in 'Cageside - MMA Discussion' started by jason73, Feb 14, 2020 at 12:05 AM.

  1. jason73

    jason73 never bernie
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    Ultimate Fighting Championship is draining its cash reserves to fund big payouts to celebrity investors — even as its fighters gripe that they are vastly underpaid, The Post has learned.

    The mixed martial arts giant has approved a massive $300 million dividend to UFC’s investors — a star-studded list that includes Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Gisele Bündchen, Ben Affleck and tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams, sources said.

    Roughly half of the $300 million will go to Endeavor, the entertainment holding company run by Hollywood superagent Ari Emanuel, which bought a 50 percent stake in UFC in 2016 for $4 billion. Endeavor also owns Hollywood talent agency WME, fashion and sports media agency IMG and the Miss Universe Pageant.

    Wahlberg, the Hollywood producer behind “Entourage” and “Boardwalk Empire,” is slated to nab a roughly half-million dividend, sources said, while Brazilian model Bündchen — wife of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady — is on track to get $145,000.

    Other beneficiaries include UFC President Dana White, Endeavor CEO Emanuel — the inspiration for the Ari Gold character in HBO’s “Entourage” — and Endeavor Executive Chairman Patrick Whitesell, ex-husband of Jeff Bezos gal pal Lauren Sanchez.

    https://nypost.com/2020/02/13/ufcs-celebrity-investors-have-a-chokehold-on-300m-dividend/
     
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  2. CreativeClassMauler

    CreativeClassMauler Dressed for Success

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    The one that pisses me off is Conan O'Brien. I've always liked him and he seems like an otherwise good dude who looks after his staff. He probably doesn't realize what a scumbag he is for profiting even a little bit off this disgraceful exploitation of fighters. Ignorance is no excuse though.

    If you're part-owner of the UFC, you're a piece of shit.
     
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  3. Miesha's Taint

    Miesha's Taint VLOGGER

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  4. CreativeClassMauler

    CreativeClassMauler Dressed for Success

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    Ok mete
     
  5. Miesha's Taint

    Miesha's Taint VLOGGER

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    Am I wrong?
     
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  6. Kneeblock

    Kneeblock Jumbo shrimp

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    That's capitalism.
     
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  7. Onetrickpony

    Onetrickpony Stay gold

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    Do you think Conan has any idea what his millions are invested in?

    He pays an investor a percentage to get the most out of his money.
     
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  8. ECC170

    ECC170 Monster's 11,ATM 2,Parlay Challenge,Hero GP Champ
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    It's sad Blood, sweat and tears aren't good enough of an investment to be fairly compensated..fk them
     
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  9. Papi Chingon

    Papi Chingon Posting Machine

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    Sources tell The Post UFC’s fighters cost the Las Vegas promotions company less than $150 million last year — or under 16 percent of its $900 million in revenue. By contrast, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Football League all share between 48 percent and 50 percent of revenues with their players, data shows
     
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  10. JonJonesBeard

    JonJonesBeard The Face That Runs the Place

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    I don't defend the UFC very often, but this is kind of a ridiculous comparision.
     
  11. Papi Chingon

    Papi Chingon Posting Machine

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    The comparison isn't why I posted it. The 16% is.
     
  12. JonJonesBeard

    JonJonesBeard The Face That Runs the Place

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    That's what I'm referring to. The reason it's 16% is because there are like 4 guys that get 80% of that 16% who are all like "This shit is great" then you have everyone else who thinks they're one fight and good interview away from being in that 4 guys so they're all like "Nah, we don't need a union."
     
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  13. Papi Chingon

    Papi Chingon Posting Machine

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    I don't know that I agree. The brass at the ufc has been against unionizing forever and they've even gone so far as to hire lobbyists to speak to their roster. Very few fighters seem to be willing to discuss their support for unionizing publicly and I'm guessing this is due to intimidation. The ufc can and will dictate paths for success for any and all fighters, and if you get out of pocket you may end up inactive, smeared, or cut (or all the above). What the fighters don't realize is that being a good bitch to the company doesn't get you higher pay either. No idea how long it will take them to realize this considering the vast majority have such a short time time to actually make money in this sport.
     
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  14. JonJonesBeard

    JonJonesBeard The Face That Runs the Place

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    You might not realize it, but I agree with you. I'm pointing out that the reason they only take home 16% of the overall revenue is largely because of their reluctance to unionize. You can only lead the horse to water.
     
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  15. Jehannum

    Jehannum TMMAC's Most Handsome Artist

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    they should fight out their contracts and leave, what can the UFC do with no notable fighters?

    no one will give a shit about the UFC if everyone jumps ship overnight and joins a new org
     
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  16. blas4ublasphemy

    blas4ublasphemy Active Member

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    Investment is a risk, the fighters never had to put any in and agreed to fight for an agreed upon wage. I don't see the correlation?
     
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  17. sparkuri

    sparkuri Pulse On The Finger Of The Community
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    Excellent thread title.
     
  18. JonJonesBeard

    JonJonesBeard The Face That Runs the Place

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    It would only take 2 handfuls of fighters willing to sit out.
     
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  19. ejlarson

    ejlarson I like chicken

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    Dividend means a return correct? Did anyone else see the amounts the individuals listed paid in? Maybe that would ruin the narrative?
     
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  20. ECC170

    ECC170 Monster's 11,ATM 2,Parlay Challenge,Hero GP Champ
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    That's the problem you or the ufc don't see it.. Investing in getting your head knocked off Is a risk.. training to fight elite guys is a risk Putting money into a flourishing company doesn't seem like hardly a risk.. ..its hard for ppl that's never been in thus situation to correlate the 2 but ya know, what do I know.
     
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  21. Shang Tsong2

    Shang Tsong2 ATM 3 CHAMPION OF THE WORLD
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    I've fucked up my dividend stuff. I pay myself minimum wage and then just transfer myself money as I need it. Couple days back I noticed a dividend button. That I've never used. Gonna be a fun tax season.
     
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  22. Kneeblock

    Kneeblock Jumbo shrimp

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    This is a good point but there are 2 other factors. 1)The company is outright hostile to any workers trying to organize, routinely punishing or ousting them and 2) The current regulatory environment in the US under the Trump administration has opined that they are not eligible to be considered workers and thus are not eligible to form a union.
     
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  23. JonJonesBeard

    JonJonesBeard The Face That Runs the Place

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    Factor 1 is largely irrelevant as it's ultimately up to the fighters just like it was to the other unions before. If people want to argue the semantics of them not being able to unionize, that's fine, and technically correct but there isn't any reason that the title holders can't say "If you want us to fight, you're going to have to make sure everyone in the organization makes a decent wage." Without fighters, there's no UFC. That's the reality.

    I think it should go without saying, but I absolutely believe the fighters, particularly the low level fighters, should be paid much more. As long as the fighters are beholden to fighting in a single organization they should be on yearly, incentivized contracts. That being said, I used to be much more sympathetic to the fighters cause, but unfortunately they've demonstrated time and time again, that they're satisfied with blaming others, or pretending that everything will be great once they get one more win and a little more mic time.
     
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  24. Kneeblock

    Kneeblock Jumbo shrimp

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    I hear you, but the thing to keep in mind before we desert the fighters and start to say they deserve what they get because they won't unionize, we have to acknowledge the political realities on the ground. Some have signed onto organizing processes and the organizers have been punished. Those efforts came to a halt because of the change in the policy of the National Labor Relations Board under this administration. Tactically, it makes sense for them to hold off until a more labor friendly administration is in office. They also literally just changed ownership and media outlets a couple years ago which means their whole organizational and compensation plans have changed significantly. They now would have to carve out a whole new strategy to deal with a behemoth like WME instead of just Zuffa.

    There's romance for how union organizing happens in certain sectors, but it's different for literally every workplace. You can't just go straight to a work stoppage. That's something that happens after a ton of organizing and planning has been done. If a few top stars stopped fighting, the UFC has contingencies. They've fed the fanbase cards filled with unknowns and mid-tiers for years and haven't really paid a price.

    You're 100% right that many fighters are chasing more mic time and using basically populist strategies to get more money and success and generally that is much less effective than solidarity and organizing for change, but the only body in the US that can help them change their situation is controlled by a personal friend of Dana White. Dana has explicitly done political favors to ensure that the fighters attempt is blocked. This is the time to build support quietly and maybe next year we'll see some more overt organizing. Also the antitrust case is still ongoing which is the only reason more information is becoming available on how little the fighters are compensated. Many, I'm sure, are watching that suit carefully.
     
  25. JonJonesBeard

    JonJonesBeard The Face That Runs the Place

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    Again, they don't need to "unionize" to have leverage. Particularly if they can't legally form a union, personally, I don't believe that they can't and the concept of them being "independant contractors" is tenuous at best.

    Yes, you can.

    They've consistently demonstrated that they don't have a contingency plan when a card falls apart at the last minute. We've seen them cancel a PPV because of it.

    Are you honestly pretending this is a politically partisan issue?
     
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