October 28, 2022
BANGKOK — The new owners of the Miss Universe Organization laid out her plans to “take it further” and expand the brand’s global presence, beyond the competition staged only once a year.
JKN Global Group CEO Anne Jakrajutatip, who acquired “100 percent” MUO, discussed her plan for the 71-year-old pageant in a press conference in Bangkok, Thailand, that was also made available to media scribes in other countries via online platforms.
MUO President Paula Shugart and CEO Amy Emmerich also joined the press conference from New York virtually.
“Miss Universe belongs to us,” Jakrajutatip declared, also announcing the establishment of the “One Universe” platform that hopes to unite women from all backgrounds to showcase their beauty and talent on one stage, and empower one another.
The full acquisition of MUO, she said, means she is the sole owner and shareholder of the organization, including all the businesses, brands, and trademarks such as the Miss USA and the Miss Teen USA pageants. The historic deal also made Jakrajutatip the first non-American and first woman to own the organization.
Miss Universe Water
JKN Global Group boasts of a massive media and content footprint, with a terrestrial television station digital channel, manufacturing of beauty and wellness products, and a content marketing agency. It expanded from being a media content marketing company 20 years ago, importing foreign shows to Thailand, and later exporting Thai programs to other markets.
Jakrajutatip said that under JKN Global Group, the Miss Universe pageant will not be just a beauty competition, and she will focus on “sustainable business development.”
For one, JKN Global Group is planning to produce a “Miss Universe Water.” Jakrajutatip said the water “will make you beautiful,” but declined to share a release date because it is still in the development stage.
The conglomerate laid out a comprehensive revenue structure for the Miss Universe brand beyond the traditional channels of income generation.
The traditional income stream of MUO comes from the licensing of countries to participate, licensing to host the competition, the annual Miss Universe contest production, and licensing TV stations to broadcast the live contest.
Aside from these, JKN plans to further boost MUO’s revenue from sponsorship and the talent management fee from the winner. It also plans to increase ticket sales in every round of the competition.
The Thai conglomerate also plans to earn from the distribution and licensing of products, and from a “superformat” program called “Road to the Universe.”
Jakrajutatip also disclosed that her talks with Endeavor, the parent company of the former owner, also arrived at a content marketing deal with the US-based media empire, to bring its televised sports competitions to Thailand as well to further boost JKN Global Group’s media content portfolio.
Shugart said that in the 20 years that she has been with MUO, “this is the most excited I have ever been. I know the MUO is in good hands.”
For her part, Emmerich said she is confident that Jakrajutatip will continue to uphold the pageants mission “to celebrate women of all backgrounds.”
The two said they have yet to discuss further in detail what changes will take place in the organization under JKN Global Group, but they are scheduled to fly to Bangkok on Nov. 7.
Jakrajutatip, meanwhile, confirmed that MUO will retain its headquarters in New York, entrusting the administrative aspect of the organization to both Shugart and Emmerich, saying she respects the work the two have put in the brand, and the relationships they have cultivated with international partners.
But the Thai media empress declared that the Miss Universe pageant under JKN Global Group will show what the fans want to see for their “enjoyment” and promised to champion equality and inclusivity through the competition.
Growing up as a transgender woman in an accepting environment in Thailand allowed Jakrajutatip to realize her full potential, and she said wants women around world to see through her that one can achieve her dreams in life. She shared the story of once aspiring to work with Miss Universe while watching the competition. Now she does not only work with it, she owns it.
Jakrajutatip also lauded MUO’s decision to accept married or divorced women in the competition, which was reported before the JKN Global Group’s acquisition was made public. “If you have a husband and you are still beautiful, why will you just stay at home? Show your beauty on stage,” she said.
She also mentioned that there are already host countries for the 2023 and 2024 editions of the pageant, but declined to reveal where the contests will take place.
The 71st Miss Universe pageant scheduled on Jan. 14 next year in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the United States is technically the 2022 edition of the international competition.