Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta lose spot on Influential List
They were placed as a pair in 2011 at number 41, just above Michael Wiener, the executive director from the MLB players association. On that list, SportsBusiness cited the destruction of MMA's primal reputation, the UFC events held in South America and Asia and the deal with the FOX family of networks as three dynamic business moves that earned White and Fertitta their spot on the list last year.
2011 was White and Fertitta's first time on the list, and they were ranked in the same ballpark as a number of active and important individuals in all aspects of sports advertising, marketing, and ownership. Number 43 was the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Coca-Cola Co, and just two spots above her at 45 was Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
Taking the number 41 spot this year were Andy England and Tom Long, the chief marketing officer and and President of MillerCoors. To their credit, Coors Light apparently surpassed Budweiser this year as the Number 2 U.S beer brand (Bud Light holds the top spot). Those who are probably most responsible for bumping White and Fertitta off the list, however, are a string of newcomers ranked in the low to mid forty's who have become a lot more involved with their respective companies or franchises. Ed Snider and Peter Luuko, the President and Chairman of Comcast, makes their first appearance on this list at number 43, due to Comcast's new presence in retail and entertainment. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and his partner Bob Batterman debut at number 46, mostly because of their influence on the recent NHL labor talks and lockouts.
It's somewhat understandable for White and Fertitta to be overshadowed by achievements of others in more mainstream sports business and perhaps moved down on the list, but completely ignored? Not only has the UFC continued to expand its worldwide status as a household name, but Dana White's role as a promoter has successfully kept many of his employees in the public eye when they are either injured or in between fights. White has unquestionably had a huge influence on the way many UFC standouts of 2012 stepped further into the spotlight and attained a great increase in fame as a result.
Also for consideration is the creation of The Ultimate Fighter series in Brazil, Australia and the U.K. Fertitta even announced last September that there would be an Indian edition of the show.
Whatever the reason may be for White and Fertitta's absence from this list, it's hard to ignore that the UFC brand and its athletes are currently at a much higher level of recognition and popularity than in 2011. Guess there's always next year.