UFC inks new deal with NRL

UFC inks deal with National Rugby League

December 16, 2023

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has announced a new strategic partnership with Australasia’s premier rugby competition — the National Rugby League (NRL).

The partnership will see the NRL work towards growing its fanbase in the US and eventually across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. 

Also read: UFC renews Toyo Tires partnership

Lawrence Epstein, UFC Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, commented:

Las Vegas is on the fast track to becoming the sports capital of the world. All the major U.S. sports leagues will have a presence here soon, and of course, Las Vegas will host its first Super Bowl here at Allegiant Stadium in February. International sports leagues are also recognizing the value Las Vegas can bring to their brand.  Just a few weeks ago we had the inaugural Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix, which was a great success and set the stage for additional F1 events in the years to come.

NRL fans are going to love coming to Vegas to watch these matches. We’ve been to all the great cities, and there’s nothing like the infrastructure we have here in Las Vegas – from hotel rooms to restaurants and nightclubs, and all of the other entertainment and sports we have here. Fans are the most important component of the sports ecosystem, and when the fans have a great time, they talk about your brand more, they talk about the experience more, and that positivity just builds up.

Dave Shaw, UFC Vice President, Head of International & Content, added:

There is a great link between our two sports, and I am excited about this partnership and the opportunities we have to grow together. We know the NRL is one of the biggest sporting competitions Down Under and they have aspirations to grow their sport here in the U.S. We also know Australians are some of the biggest MMA fans on the planet – it is home to over 4 million of our 700 million global fanbase – and we are always looking at ways to continue to grow that fanbase in the APAC region. 

Since 2010, UFC has accomplished major milestones across Australia and New Zealand, delivering 20 events across most major cities, many of them record-breaking. We have seen UFC athletes like Alex Volkanovski and Tai ‘Bam Bam’ Tuivasa start their careers in rugby league before transitioning to MMA… and we’ve also seen plenty of NRL stars enjoying the action at our UFC events across the globe. There is a connection between the sports that transcends beyond the Octagon and that is what excites us about this partnership.

Aditya Chaudhuri

Hailing from the City of Joy, the things that bring me joy are cricket, a good non-tilt CS:GO session, F1 and movies.

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