Dwayne Johnson Secures Full Ownership of ‘The Rock’ Name, Joins Board of WWE and UFC Owner TKO Group

“The Rock” has solidified his business portfolio with full trademark rights and a seat of the board of directors of the TKO Group.

via: Complex

Tuesday, TKO, the sports and entertainment company behind WWE and UFC, announced the new deal and pointed to Johnson’s “decades of experience” across multiple mediums. Appointing Johnson to the board, TKO reps noted, will help boost “strategic growth initiatives” for both organizations.

“My grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia, and my dad, Rocky ‘Soulman’ Johnson, would’ve never thought this day would come,” Johnson said in a statement. “Which is why I’m very humbled to have a seat at the table that has decades of history and family legacy for me. A table that my family helped to build. Being on the TKO Board of Directors, and taking full ownership of my name, ‘The Rock’, is not only unprecedented, but incredibly inspiring as my crazy life is coming full circle.”

Tuesday’s news comes weeks after The Rock made a surprise appearance on WWE Raw, where he teased a Roman Reigns match. The crowd-pleasing surprise saw Johnson interrupting Jinder Mahal, whom he dubbed the “day-one douchebag” before rolling out The People’s Elbow for his San Diego fans. WWE Raw, per the latest wave of TKO announcements, is coming to Netflix in 2025.

“At my core, I’m a builder who builds for and serves the people, and [TKO CEO Ariel Emanuel] is building something truly game changing,” Johnson added on Tuesday. “I’m very motivated to help continue to globally expand our TKO, WWE, and UFC businesses as the worldwide leaders in sports and entertainment—while proudly representing so many phenomenal athletes and performers who show up every day putting in the hard work with their own two hands to make their dreams come true and deliver for our audiences. I’ve been there, I’m still there and this is for them.”

As for the trademark part of this deal, the agreement between WWE and Johnson includes “promotional, licensing, and other services,” as well as an “intellectual property assignment agreement” under which he secures ownership of the name. As fans will note, the name comes from Johnson’s aforementioned father, who made WWE history during his time in the ring.

Also appointed to the TKO board on Tuesday was Brad Keywell, co-founder of Groupon and founder of Uptake Technologies.

Next for Johnson is the tentatively titled The Smashing Machine, a new A24-backed film from The Curse’s Benny Safdie about UFC star Mark Kerr. Johnson will play Kerr in the highly anticipated film, a release date for which has not been announced.

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