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Tetragrammaton with Rick Rubin

Ari Emanuel

Wed Jul 10 2024
WrestlingUFCMMAEntertainment IndustryTalent AgenciesMergerWilliam Morris EndeavorSports BusinessBroadcasting DealsStrategic MovesSuccessBiohackingCommunication

Description

This episode covers the history and evolution of wrestling, the rise of UFC and MMA, working in the entertainment industry, the evolution of talent agencies, the merger and expansion of William Morris Endeavor, building a successful venture, owning sports teams and broadcasting deals, strategic moves and business decisions, success, challenges, and biohacking, as well as communication, business, and finding joy.

Insights

The Impact of Social Media on Promoting Fights

The impact of social media on promoting fights in MMA is emphasized as a key factor in its success.

Joe Rogan's Commentary in MMA

Joe Rogan's commentary plays a significant role in helping the audience understand MMA.

Shift in Television Landscape

There was a shift in the television landscape with more networks and channels leading to an increase in show production.

Generational Shift in the Entertainment Industry

A generational shift occurred in the industry, with new leaders taking over and signing various talents like Al Pacino.

Importance of Representing Top Clients

The individual learned from influential figures like Bill Haber and Ron Meyer about the importance of representing top clients.

The Speaker's Journey in the Entertainment Industry

The individual recounts their journey starting as an assistant, learning about the business, and transitioning into a more active role.

Evolution of Talent Agencies

UTA was formed by merging Bauer, Benedict, and leading artists. ICM's lit department split from UTA due to different visions and unresolved issues. Endeavor was founded after a car accident involving Tom Strickler, David Greenblatt, and Rick. Endeavor started with a fake budget and a loan from Russell Goldsmith. Endeavor brought clients like Eric Gilliland, Amy Lipman, Greg Daniels, and Bob Singer. William Morris Company has a long history in the entertainment business spanning over 120 years.

Challenges Faced During the Merger Process

The merger process involved strategic planning, negotiations, and overcoming challenges to establish a strong position in the industry. The financial crisis of 2008 posed significant challenges for the agency but they managed to secure funding and navigate through tough times.

Shift towards Owning Businesses

A shift towards owning businesses rather than just representing them marked a significant change in strategy, resulting in successful acquisitions like Bull riding and Droga 5.

Synergy in Selling TV Shows and Movies

The advantage of having synergy when selling TV shows and movies to networks like ESPN and Disney.

The Business Side of Representing UFC

The speaker shares insights on the business side of representing UFC and the process of acquiring it for a high multiple. They highlight the pivotal role of ESPN in making a deal with UFC for direct-to-consumer broadcasting.

Future Shift towards Direct-to-Consumer Models

There is a discussion about the potential future shift towards direct-to-consumer models in sports broadcasting, contrasting linear TV with streaming platforms like Peacock.

Strategic Moves in WWE Programming

WWE made strategic moves with its programming, such as moving Smackdown to NBC and selling NXT for a great number. The decision to make Raw available on Netflix in January was unexpected but considered a big deal.

Maximizing Value and Financial Gains

The creation of TKO by combining UFC and WWE aimed at maximizing value and financial gains.

When It Makes Sense for a Business to be Public or Private

The discussion around when it makes sense for a business to be public or private highlighted the importance of simplicity in storytelling.

Qualities of Great Creators

Working with great creators involves understanding their vision, endurance, and willingness to take punches to achieve their goals.

Success is Not a Straight Path

Success is not a straight path but involves trying different things that may lead to other opportunities.

Concerns about Cancel Culture and Lack of Information

Cancel culture and lack of information are concerning in today's society, impacting both political parties.

Biohacking and Staying Healthy

The speaker is focused on biohacking and staying healthy to enjoy life for as long as possible. The speaker practices various biohacks like intermittent fasting, ice baths, cryotherapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, meditation, and breathing exercises.

Optimism in Overcoming Challenges

The world has faced challenges in the past, and the speaker remains optimistic about overcoming current issues.

Importance of Endurance

Endurance is prioritized by the speaker over enthusiasm, work ethic, smarts, and instinct in terms of qualities.

Belief in Communication and Treating People Right

Belief that most things can be resolved through communication. Personal beliefs on religion, spirituality, and treating people right.

Finding Joy Outside of Work

Finding joy outside of work, particularly in relationships and surfing

Chapters

  1. The History and Evolution of Wrestling
  2. UFC and the Evolution of MMA
  3. Working in the Entertainment Industry
  4. Career Growth in the Entertainment Industry
  5. Evolution of Talent Agencies
  6. Merger and Expansion of William Morris Endeavor
  7. Building a Successful Venture
  8. Owning Sports Teams and Broadcasting Deals
  9. Strategic Moves and Business Decisions
  10. Success, Challenges, and Biohacking
  11. Communication, Business, and Finding Joy
Summary
Transcript

The History and Evolution of Wrestling

00:02 - 06:56

  • The history and evolution of wrestling is discussed, highlighting key figures like Vince McMahon and The Rock.
  • The blurred lines between scripted storylines and real-life events in wrestling create intrigue for fans.
  • Comparisons are drawn between the promotional strategies of WWE's Vince McMahon and UFC's Dana White.
  • The impact of social media on promoting fights in MMA is emphasized as a key factor in its success.

UFC and the Evolution of MMA

06:26 - 13:15

  • UFC has become more popular than boxing, with Dana White understanding what fights people want to see.
  • MMA has evolved over time, with audiences now appreciating high-level grappling situations.
  • Joe Rogan's commentary plays a significant role in helping the audience understand MMA.
  • A personal anecdote about getting hit by a car at 34 years old and the realization that life is unpredictable.
  • The decision to leave ICM and start an independent venture was influenced by wanting to be one's own boss and make more money.
  • Inspired by the idea of life after television and having a strong TV list, the speaker decided to pursue independence in the television business.

Working in the Entertainment Industry

12:46 - 20:34

  • The podcast snippet discusses the experiences of a person working in the entertainment industry.
  • The individual learned from influential figures like Bill Haber and Ron Meyer about the importance of representing top clients.
  • There was a shift in the television landscape with more networks and channels leading to an increase in show production.
  • A generational shift occurred in the industry, with new leaders taking over and signing various talents like Al Pacino.
  • The individual recounts their journey starting as an assistant, learning about the business, and transitioning into a more active role.

Career Growth in the Entertainment Industry

20:10 - 27:08

  • The speaker started as a runner in the mailroom before moving up to assistant roles in the entertainment industry.
  • The speaker's love for television and early morning TV watching influenced their career choice.
  • The speaker worked with writers in television, mainly focusing on signing writers from places like Harvard Lampoon and SNL.
  • There was a split in the company where the talent department went to UTA and the lit department went to ICM.

Evolution of Talent Agencies

26:53 - 34:25

  • UTA was formed by merging Bauer, Benedict, and leading artists
  • ICM's lit department split from UTA due to different visions and unresolved issues
  • Endeavor was founded after a car accident involving Tom Strickler, David Greenblatt, and Rick
  • Endeavor started with a fake budget and a loan from Russell Goldsmith
  • Endeavor brought clients like Eric Gilliland, Amy Lipman, Greg Daniels, and Bob Singer
  • William Morris Company has a long history in the entertainment business spanning over 120 years

Merger and Expansion of William Morris Endeavor

34:02 - 41:14

  • William Morris agency has been around for 60 years and was a prominent player in the industry.
  • Endeavor went through a merger to become William Morris Endeavor, aiming to compete with other major agencies like ICM and UTA.
  • The merger process involved strategic planning, negotiations, and overcoming challenges to establish a strong position in the industry.
  • The financial crisis of 2008 posed significant challenges for the agency but they managed to secure funding and navigate through tough times.
  • The goal of becoming a dominant player in the industry led Endeavor to focus on expanding their divisions and competing with other agencies.

Building a Successful Venture

40:54 - 48:03

  • The speaker started a company called Rain with Joe Ravitch and Jeff Sign, raising money and attracting investors like Mark Andreessen.
  • Investors saw potential in the speaker's vision for the merchant bank and other ventures, leading to successful partnerships.
  • The speaker's interest in sports business led to pursuing acquisitions like IMG, transforming it into a successful venture with diverse offerings.
  • A shift towards owning businesses rather than just representing them marked a significant change in strategy, resulting in successful acquisitions like Bull riding and Droga 5.

Owning Sports Teams and Broadcasting Deals

47:40 - 55:53

  • The speaker discusses their experience in owning and managing sports teams and building sponsorship groups.
  • They talk about the advantage of having synergy when selling TV shows and movies to networks like ESPN and Disney.
  • The speaker shares insights on the business side of representing UFC and the process of acquiring it for a high multiple.
  • They highlight the pivotal role of ESPN in making a deal with UFC for direct-to-consumer broadcasting.
  • There is a discussion about the potential future shift towards direct-to-consumer models in sports broadcasting, contrasting linear TV with streaming platforms like Peacock.

Strategic Moves and Business Decisions

55:28 - 1:02:47

  • WWE made strategic moves with its programming, such as moving Smackdown to NBC and selling NXT for a great number.
  • The decision to make Raw available on Netflix in January was unexpected but considered a big deal.
  • The creation of TKO by combining UFC and WWE aimed at maximizing value and financial gains.
  • The discussion around when it makes sense for a business to be public or private highlighted the importance of simplicity in storytelling.
  • Working with great creators involves understanding their vision, endurance, and willingness to take punches to achieve their goals.

Success, Challenges, and Biohacking

1:02:30 - 1:10:28

  • Success is not a straight path but involves trying different things that may lead to other opportunities.
  • Cancel culture and lack of information are concerning in today's society, impacting both political parties.
  • The speaker is focused on biohacking and staying healthy to enjoy life for as long as possible.
  • The world has faced challenges in the past, and the speaker remains optimistic about overcoming current issues.
  • The speaker practices various biohacks like intermittent fasting, ice baths, cryotherapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, meditation, and breathing exercises.
  • Endurance is prioritized by the speaker over enthusiasm, work ethic, smarts, and instinct in terms of qualities.

Communication, Business, and Finding Joy

1:10:03 - 1:13:35

  • Belief that most things can be resolved through communication
  • Discussion on business and understanding different country situations
  • Personal beliefs on religion, spirituality, and treating people right
  • Finding joy outside of work, particularly in relationships and surfing
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