MMA has sent shockwaves through the world of competitive athletics, sports entertainment, and now it’s been officially recognized as a financial powerhouse. At one time, the UFC was $2 million in the red, today the organization is valued at $1.65 billion. This is enough to land the UFC on “The Forbes Fab 40: The World’s Most Valuable Sports Brands 2014.” Here’s how Forbes.com determines the winners by category:
“The Forbes Fab 40 consists of the 10 most valuable sports brands in each of four categories–businesses, events, teams and athletes–and quantifies the earning power of each brand relative to its competitors.”
Forbes estimated the value of the mixed martial arts promotion at $1.65 billion, “(15 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), while the average business with the same profitability would be worth $1.21 billion (11 times operating income). The UFC brand is worth $440 million ($1.65 billion minus $1.21 billion).”
Also new to the Forbes Fab 40 list is WWE’s WrestleMania. The annual biggest event of the year for WWE (the most successful wrestling promotion in the world) is valued at $105 million. Forbes values the WrestleMania brand at $105 million, placing the brand at no. 8 on the list. April’s WrestleMania 30 broke the record for the Mercedes-Benz Superdome’s highest grossing entertainment event, marking the fifth consecutive year WrestleMania broke the host venue’s single day revenue record. Unlike the UFC, WWE is a public company. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut with offices located internationally in Tokyo, Munich, Mumbai, London and Mexico City. In August, Forbes reported that WWE’s revenue over the last 12 months was a $514 million. Syfy network will air a special WWE Smackdown tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT celebrating 15 years of history. Averaging 3.1 million viewers each week, Smackdown is the second longest-running weekly episodic program in U.S. Television history only behind Monday Night Raw.
Find out who else made the list at Forbes.com.