- The UFC's parent company Endeavor surged as much as 19% before paring gains in its public debut on Thursday.
- Ari Emanuel, the company's co-founder and CEO, was interviewed by Bloomberg after the first trades began.
- Emanuel praised his company's prospects, the UFC, and Elon Musk in the conversation. These are his best quotes.
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Endeavor's founder and CEO Ari Emanuel sat down for an interview with Bloomberg on Thursday after his company's public debut.
Emanuel, who loosely inspired Jeremy Piven's Ari Gold character on the popular HBO show 'Entourage,' talked up his company's global reach, discussed why an earlier attempt at going public was pushed back, and praised the progress seen at the UFC in the conversation.
The CEO added that his company is perfectly positioned for the economic reopening as the world gets back to live entertainment, sports, and movie theatres.
Here are Emanuel's eight best quotes from the interview, lightly edited and condensed for clarity:
- "The good thing about the company is you can't position us in one area. I would say to you during COVID…we did 80% of our EBIT. The UFC, without audiences, which is a big player for us, and commercial pay per views beat our numbers by 10%. So we are, I think, the best positioned for where the world's going."
- "The bottom fell out of the market, you have the WeWork debacle back then, and we weren't getting the economics we thought we deserved. We also realized we had to align our shareholders and our stockholders in the UFC and make it one entity. And we also had to resegment the business and address what people were telling us about cutting the debt."
- "We are in every secular trend as a company. We represent people that make content, we own content. We represent people that put on sports, we own sports. And we have the largest events and experiences company, I think, in the business. And I think in all three segments we are the reopening story."
- "Over the many years that he (Elon Musk) and I have known each other I always ask him things about where the world's going and he gives me great insight on how to think about this business and where technology is going to take civilization and people in general."
- " He's (Elon Musk) also an entrepreneur. He knows what it takes to build a company, all the things you have to do. You know, there's no straight line in building a company, I can attest over these last 26 years. So those two elements gives us great insight into what we should be doing at our company and how we have to think about where the world's going."
- "We started the business based on George Gilder. In his book, 'Life After Television' he talks about how there's going to be infinite distribution and content is going to be more important than anything…that's what we built the business on, that thesis."
- "We have a huge opportunity in the marketplace because I think we're one of one as I just said. The sport (the UFC) is an incredible sport, it's a global sport unlike anything else. I don't have to tell you the rules whether you're in Singapore, Japan, China, the United States, France, Latin America…you also can consume it on a highlight…you can consume it on your phone. We think it's the only truly global sport that everyone understands."
- "We (the UFC) have an incredible partnership with Disney and ESPN…we have a direct-to-consumer business on Fight Pass that's a global product. We do digital, we have a great deal with Tik Tok…we're doing NFTs right now…we use all the elements that we have globally, and we kind of utilize that throughout the company."
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