UFC® President Dana White has said time and time again that the UFC loves Canada, and that Canadians are among the best and most passionate UFC fans in the world.
UFC® ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR CANADIAN OFFICE IN TORONTO, APPOINTS TOM WRIGHT AS DIRECTOR UFC CANADIAN OPERATIONS
Las Vegas, NV (USA) – UFC® President Dana White has said time and time again that the UFC loves Canada, and that Canadians are among the best and most passionate UFC fans in the world.
Today, White and UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, demonstrated their full support for Canada and their long-term commitment to the country with an announcement that the UFC will open an office in Toronto and that sports industry veteran Tom Wright will lead Canadian operations for the UFC as Director.
“The support that we receive from the fans and the media here is second to none,” said White. “Vancouver was our fastest sellout in history, and every other fight that we’ve held here has been a huge success. It’s time for UFC to show its commitment to this country, and prove that we are as passionate about our Canadian fans as they are about us.”
White continued to say that the UFC is considering Canada as the location for the Georges St-Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck UFC welterweight title fight, and that this UFC event could be held in conjunction with a two-day UFC Fan Expo.
White then introduced UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta, who revealed plans for the UFC office in Toronto and welcomed the new Director for Canada Tom Wright.
“I am pleased to announce we are opening an office in Canada, and that Tom Wright, who is so respected and accomplished here in Canada, will lead our business in this critically important market,” said Fertitta. “This will be the second international office for the UFC, and much like our UK operation, this presence will allow us to better serve the fans and businesses here, and to continue on our path of global expansion.”
With a successful sports business career spanning more than 25 years, Wright will serve as Director, Canadian Operations for the Ultimate Fighting Championship organization. In this role, he will focus on improving and strengthening UFC’s relations within local communities, provincial governments, Canadian businesses and the national and local media. Wright will build upon the efforts to regulate the sport of mixed martial arts in Ontario, and as he stated today, toward implementing a regular UFC events schedule that would include holding up to three UFC events per year in Canada. The UFC also pledged to develop a program to support local community sports with resources put back into the many regions of the country that have so strongly embraced the sport of mixed martial arts.
“I am honoured to have this opportunity to lead Canadian operations for the UFC and to be involved in this incredible period of time in the sport’s history,” said Wright. “I look forward to helping the UFC build its brand and business in Canada, to working side by side with sports visionaries Frank Fertitta, Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White, and to the amazing journey that lies ahead.”
An accomplished and respected business and community leader, Wright has extensive experience in the North American sports industry.
Before serving four years as Commissioner for the Canadian Football League, Wright was the President and CEO for Salomon North American, President Adidas Canada LTD and President of Spalding Canada LTD. He has also been significantly involved with Special Olympics in Canada as a volunteer for more than 25 years and served as the organization’s National Board Chairman. He remains active on this board as well as a Director of the Special Olympics Canada Foundation, which he joined in 2002. Most recently Wright was Managing Director of Level5 Strategic Brand Advisors, one of Canada’s foremost business and brand strategy firms working with many of North America’s and the world’s leading brands.
Wright begins his role as UFC’s Director of Canadian Operations effective May 31st. The location and date for the official opening of the UFC’s Toronto office will be announced in the near future.
Fertitta and White delivered this announcement today at 1:00pm ET live from the Rogers Center in Toronto.
UFC has held three successful events in Montreal (UFC 83, UFC 97 and UFC 113) and is holding its fourth event, UFC 115, on Saturday, June 12th live from General Motors Place in Vancouver, British Columbia. UFC 115 ranks as the fastest sellout in the history of the UFC organization, with tickets selling 30 minutes after an initial pre-sale event began. UFC legends Chuck Liddell and Rich Franklin are headlining this historic first event in Vancouver.
Over the past four years, White has been to Canada more than a dozen times for media tours, press conferences, media days and attending UFC events.