Heavy.com was able to dig down into the Shane McMahon/UFC talks and exactly what his role would be for the promotion. Some of what they were able to gather from their sources was very interesting:
But five years after the initial explosion of popularity built by The Ultimate Fighter reality show, you don’t see a strong UFC brand in the marketplace. While you might expect a thriving brand of UFC t-shirts and hats to be sold in Wal-Marts nationwide, instead you find-almost nothing.
Here, more than anywhere else, is where the UFC can use McMahon’s help. Not only has he witnessed firsthand the WWE’s slow march to wrestling ubiquity, he has personally secured much of the company’s foreign business deals. McMahon has successfully made millions in the United Kingdom and German markets, even successfully taking the WWE into the heart of Western Europe, and can likely replicate that success for the UFC.
It does remain amazing to me that the UFC has yet to really crack the consumer market effectively. "UFC" is a household word (household acronym?) at this point and yet as my wife and I were out doing Christmas shopping this past weekend the only time I saw any strong MMA presence in any store was walking past a Spencer's Gifts and seeing a gigantic Tapout display.
If Shane McMahon can help get the UFC a bigger presense in stores such as Wal-Mart it would have to be considered a huge win. His potential to get such deals done far outweighs the cries we're going to hear from some MMA fans that his involvement would "ruin the legitimacy" of the sport.
Of course, money does remain a bit of an obstacle as it appears Shane wants to buy into the promotion rather than simply be an employee. We will have to continue to monitor the situation to see if this is a dealbreaker or if something can be worked out that is in the best interest of all involved.