After facing a significant boycott from conservatives across the country, Bud Light is now attempting to regain their support through a new strategy. Their somewhat transparent and seemingly insincere approach involves partnering with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
On Tuesday, it was announced that Bud Light will become the official beer of the UFC as part of a substantial collaboration with Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of the beer brand. Anheuser-Busch is making efforts to recover from a marketing controversy associated with their brand earlier this year.
Dana White and his team disclosed that the Bud Light sponsorship entails a multiyear agreement, and according to Sports Business Journal, it is a nine-figure deal, marking it as the largest sponsorship deal in UFC’s history.
In early 2024, Bud Light is anticipated to have a significant presence in UFC’s content, both in broadcasts and online.
“Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light were UFC’s original beer sponsors more than fifteen years ago,” UFC CEO Dana White said in a statement.
“I’m proud to announce we are back in business together.
“There are many reasons why I chose to go with Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light, most importantly because I feel we are very aligned when it comes to our core values and what the UFC brand stands for.
“I’m looking forward to all of the incredible things we will do in the years ahead.”
.@budlight is officially returning as a UFC sponsor 🍺
Sources say it is a nine-figure deal, making it #UFC’s largest sponsorship deal ever.
(via Terry Lefton) https://t.co/wVsceba5EP
— Sports Business Journal (@SBJ) October 24, 2023
“Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light have always been on the cutting edge of iconic sporting moments that fans remember forever, and reuniting with UFC is a continuation of this industry-leading legacy,” Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth said in the press release.
“As one of the largest and longest-standing sports sponsors, we are excited to work with UFC to celebrate our passionate fans while always making a positive impact in communities across America.”
Anheuser-Busch will be replacing Modelo as the UFC’s official beer partner.
Appearing on “The Sean Hannity Show,” White said his decision to partner with Anheuser-Busch “was the furthest thing about money.”
“These guys employ 65,000 Americans, thousands of vets they employ,” White told Hannity on his radio show.
“They spend over $700 million a year with U.S. farmers, you know, buying their crops for their product.
“And there’s many, many other reasons that I did this.
“Where I sit personally with my core values and I felt like the core values of the UFC, even though we’re a global sport, and we have fighters from all over the world.
“This is an American company.
“And I love this country and this is more about me being aligned with somebody who is a sponsor of the UFC and somebody I’m going to work with every day.”
White alluded to the backlash Bud Light previously received by saying fans “might not love” every business decision that is made by either UFC or Anheuser-Busch but insisted “it wasn’t a tough decision at all.”
“This is more about core values to me than anything else,” White added.