Levy will be lead director on the Group ONE Holdings board—actively involved in expanding the scope of ONE’s events, growing into new markets and honing its media rights approach.
It is the latest board position for the former Turner president, who also chairs the Genius Sports board. He has additional senior advisory roles with sports-focused private equity firm Arctos Partners and boutique investment bank Raine Group.
“ONE has built a remarkable content platform around its martial arts and esports businesses that is captivating global audiences, especially younger, tech-savvy viewers and fans,” Levy said in a statement. “In just 10 years, the company has achieved a level of worldwide popularity that took other sports franchises many decades to build.”
ONE Championship, whose backers include Temasek Holdings, is going head-to-head with UFC in global MMA. Founder and CEO Chatri Sityodtong said on last week’s Sporticast podcast that his circuit includes more specific disciplines, and has a different live-event presentation. He called the MMA world a “global duopoly,” with UFC holding a roughly 90% share in the Western Hemisphere and ONE Championship holding a 90% market share in the Eastern Hemisphere.
Sityodtong said ONE Championship is planning its first U.S. event later this year and also hinted at a big financing announcement coming on the horizon.
“We’ve [already] raised a total of $346 million,” he said. “I can just say that some really big announcements are going to be happing in the next several weeks. Probably our biggest announcement in history.”
Levy spent about three decades at Turner parent Time Warner, where he ran the company’s U.S. portfolio of networks, ad sales and distribution. He also spearheaded the company’s sports portfolio, which includes deals with the NBA, PGA Tour, MLB and NCAA.
Levy left Turner in March 2019 and then had a brief two-month stint as CEO of the Brooklyn Nets.