Last month I watched the brilliant legal mind David Serna discussing the impacts which the CoVid-19 pandemic has had on a wide variety of industries and in particular he was discussing the legal implications of businesses who may or may not decide to carry on. One point which he brought up really stuck with me and that was the case of the UFC, the mixed martial arts company which has continued to find a way to keep things going. David used the UFC to illustrate what businesses and industries could be doing, and here is why what Dana White and his team are doing is so special.
The most important aspect of what the UFC have done is their due diligence by way of enormous volumes of tests. There have been a couple of cases where people have tested positive for the virus and they have been sent to self-isolate and their teammates and coaches have been tested going forward. Something which even some of the world’s countries have failed to realize is that it is only through testing that we can have a clear picture of whether or not things can move forward. The UFC have recognized this and they have committed to thousands of tests to keep everyone healthy.
Whilst we know that a company like the UFC will do events all over the globe, it is fair to say that the lion’s share of those events are held in the USA. What the UFC have done however, in order to ensure that they are immune, so to speak, from the potential second wave, is utilize their patterns in Abu Dhabi and set up a private island where they will hold a huge number of events. This fight island follows tight guidelines and more testing to ensure that it is the perfect location for fighter to train and then fight. What is important here is that the UFC have identified somewhere in the world where there are very low figures of the virus, they have then take the tough decision to uproot and move in order to keep things going, and that is a real lesson for everyone.
It is highly likely that even with PPV buys, that the company is losing money putting on each and every event. No fans at the stadium, no usual levels of hype and the additional costs involved with testing and transport, is likely to be eating into the UFC’s cash reserves. This is a short term loss for along term gain however as it is abundantly clear that the UFC are going to come out of this with more fans than they had before all of this. The UFC are a company which is so good at taking opportunities and that is exactly what many companies and even law firms around the world should be looking to do during this difficult time.
There will be winners and losers post-pandemic, and the UFC are most certainly going to be in the former camp.