WME-IMG CEO and UFC head honcho Ari Emanuel met with president-elect Donald Trump yesterday at the Trump National Golf Course in New Jersey.
Trump introduced Emanuel to reporters as, “the king of Hollywood” prior to their 45-minute meeting and afterwards declared that, “This is a great guy. He’s a great friend of mine.”
While Emanuel is known to be a staunch democrat, with his brother Rahm having been President Obama’s Chief Of Staff at one point, he’s remained friends with Trump, who he bought the ‘Miss Universe’ pageant from and also brokered the deal for ‘The Apprentice’ TV show.
With Dana White also being a friend of Trump’s, even speaking on his behalf at the Republican National Convention earlier this year, the UFC will now have strong links to The White House when Trump takes the hot-seat in January.
That being said, the UFC’s sights are currently set further afield, with Emanuel and White set to travel to Russia in the coming weeks as they look to finally host an event in that region in the coming year, while the similarly vast Chinese market is also known to be a target for the company’s international expansion plans in the coming years as WME-IMG looks to get a return on it’s $4.2 billion investment.