The House View – The PIF’s plans to purchase WWE
January 11, 2023
From what I have seen over the last day or so the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia is closing in on purchasing the WWE. Not scared of a bit of disruption the PIF have thrown money behind Newcastle United and LIV Golf in the last year as they aim to diversify the Kingdom’s economy and decrease their reliance on oil.
In October last year, the country also successfully bid for the Asian Winter Games in 2029. The games are set to take place at the Trojena resort in the country’s highest mountain range, the bid makes up part of the ambitious $500 billion NEOM smart city project. To some it seems crazy but clearly the region wants to get serious about sport. The whole sustainability aspect will be interesting to watch. NEOM is all about tech, so this could be a great chance to apply something new to disrupt traditional thinking.
Their move to takeover WWE isn’t a surprising one, they have hosted events in the country since 2014 and since 2019 – barring the pandemic – they have hosted two pay-per-views per year.
What this will mean for WWE in the future is not altogether clear, but if you can take anything from what has happened with LIV and Newcastle the PIF won’t be scared of putting their money where their mouth is and investing a lot of money into the business.
The move represents a significant investment in the entertainment business and another example of how sport and entertainment are becoming increasingly intertwined. Just this week KSI’s Misfits boxing has signed a five year exclusive deal with DAZN and DJ Carl Cox has started his own Extreme E team. I am fascinated by this crossover and disruption (there’s that word again) to traditional sport and how entertainment has such a major role to play.
According to Arab News, the PIF has assets worth $607.42 billion and already owns more than 54 companies in ten different sectors.
By iSportConnect’s Chief Strategy Officer, Sandy Case.