Tyler Perry, Venus and Serena Williams and LL Cool J are among dozens of celebrities and athletes who have signed up as investors in UFC, the mixed martial arts organization recently acquired by WME/IMG for $4 billion.
WME/IMG also announced Friday that Ben Affleck, Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O’Brien, Sylvester Stallone, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Bay, Trey Parker and Adam Levine have joined UFC’s ownership group.
According to Variety, the investments are understood to be equity purchases.
The list also includes professional athletesVenus Williams, Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Maria Sharapova and Robert Kraft, chairman-CEO of the New England Patriots. Most of the new investors are clients of WME/IMG.
“Expanding our ownership group to include this caliber of talent and entrepreneurs is a strong indicator of UFC’s fast-growing global presence,” UFC president Dana White said. “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.”
In July, WME/IMG and Silver Lake Partners led the buyout of UFC. The acquisition of the sports league is part of WME/IMG’s drive to expand its operations beyond the representation field with content and event franchises.
The other celebrity investors named by WME/IMG are: Musician Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis and Flea, actor Calvin Harris, food TV personality Guy Fieri, golfer Li Na and producer-host Rob Dyrdek.
(Photo Source: AP/PR Photos)