Last Tuesday, UFC officials gathered with the media at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario to announce the opening of the Canadian headquarters which is to be located in Toronto and run by former CFL commissioner Tom Wright.
“I’m pleased to announce that we have decided to actually have a presence here in Canada. We will be opening an office here in Canada full-time to show our level of commitment,” said UFC chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta.
“In addition to that, obviously what we needed was to find the right individual that could head up these operations and after a long search and talking to a lot of people we feel like we’ve found the perfect person. Today we’re going to be announcing that we’ll be hiring Tom Wright as the person that will head up our operations in here.”
Wright has a decorated resume that includes stints as the commissioner of the Canadian Football League, president of Adidas Canada, president and CEO of Salomon North America and chairman of Special Olympics Canada.
“I think I bring an interesting perspective on this country and I understand the country. I’ve worked for national brands here,” Wright told sportsnet.ca. “I was commissioner of the CFL coast-to-coast. I dealt with trying to take our game and the CFL game and league into the Maritimes. I think I bring a different perspective to the UFC and the sport of MMA here in Canada.”
“The number one goal is to get our sport sanctioned and regulated in all provinces across the country, that’s number one. As we do that we want to build the business and the brand and make sure we give back to the community. There is all sorts of wonderful opportunities to build our business from merchandising to video games to new media to licensed product and conventional retail and UFC gyms, we want to do all of those kind of things.”
“I think longer term we’d like to have a regular schedule for main events here in Canada. In time maybe three a year and we also want to help develop the other opportunities for the WEC. We have our first event here on June 20th at the Rexall Centre in Edmonton. So there will be other opportunities with that brand, the WEC, to take it across the country as well.”