The UFC continues to generate record revenues for parent company Endeavor, as financial records have been revealed for the fourth quarter and full year in 2022.
Endeavor released details during an earnings report call on Tuesday, with the UFC once again leading the way for the publicly traded company. Endeavor owns two sports properties: the UFC and Professional Bull Riders. They generated $301.. 4 million in the fourth quarter, which is up nine percent from the same time in 2021.
For the year, the UFC helped lead the owned sports properties to $1. 3 billion in revenue, up $224. 1 million more from 2021 or 20 percent from last year.
“Both organizations recorded record revenue last year,” Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel said. All 21 UFC live audience events sold out. This continues a streak of 29 event sales since the return from the pandemic. UFC had its greatest sponsorship year in 2022,, unlocking new categories to appeal to a larger fan base than 2021.
“It also continues to be an industry leader in digital engagement. UFC has over 220 millions of followers on its social media platforms. TikTok followers alone grew 55 percent year over year.”
According to Chief Financial Officer Jason Lublin, the UFC’s streak of sellout cards not only continued in 2022, but the return to UFC Fight Night cards outside of the UFC APEX helped to lead to even more record-breaking numbers for live gates.
“UFC set 11 arena records for highest-grossing events, including four of the highest grossing Fight Nights in the U.S. and the two highest grossing Fight Nights in UFC history, both at London’s O2 Arena,” Lublin said.
Lublin described how UFC created new sponsorship categories such as “official law firms” which brought in new revenues for the organization.
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“UFC had also seen its greatest sponsorship sales ever,” Lublin added. “We added several new sponsors to our roster like V-Chain, New Amsterdam Vodka, and Project Rock. We also introduced new categories like the official commercial truck, the official law firm, and the official ready-to-drink partners of the UFC.”
Looking ahead to 2023, The UFC will hold the same amount of events, but the promotion expects more travelers rather than more cards at UFC APEX Las Vegas.
The APEX has become a mainstay for UFC Fight Night cards since the global pandemic started, but it appears the promotion is starting to move more and more away from that, with plans to travel to more arenas in both the U.S. and international locations in 2023.
“At UFC, we anticipate the same total number of events but with more U.S. events outside of our APEX arena, more international events and overall more marquee events, all which carry a higher cost structure,” Lublin said. This in turn affects margins .”
Endeavor promoted the next season of The Ultimate Fighter ,, which will see Conor McGregor’s eventual return before the close of 2023. He is expected to fight Michael Chandler.
Overall, the UFC continues to be a driving force for revenue for Endeavor with stock prices currently trading at $22. 31 per share, which was up on Tuesday in the wake of the earnings report being released.