Anheuser-Busch and UFC join forces in a multiyear partnership, with the brewer aiming to revitalize Bud Light sales.



Anheuser-Busch and UFC join forces in a multiyear partnership, with the brewer aiming to revitalize Bud Light sales.

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Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Bud Light has reclaimed its title as the official beer sponsor of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) through a significant six-year marketing partnership. This agreement, worth over nine figures, represents the most substantial deal in the history of this mixed martial arts promotion, according to an insider familiar with the matter.

Under this partnership, Bud Light will enjoy exclusive and prominent branding during UFC events and matches, along with in-arena promotional efforts. Furthermore, the brewer will collaborate on original content for UFC’s digital and social platforms. The partnership will commence on January 1.

This development follows a controversial boycott against Bud Light initiated in the spring when the brand associated with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. This backlash had a negative impact on beer sales for several weeks, leading to Modelo Especial temporarily outselling Bud Light as the best-selling beer in the United States.

With this deal, Anheuser-Busch is rekindling its association with an organization perceived to hold more conservative views compared to many other U.S. sports leagues. UFC CEO Dana White had donated at least $1 million to a political action committee supporting Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign, and the former president had made an appearance at a UFC event in Las Vegas earlier in the year.

Anheuser-Busch’s relationship with UFC goes back to 2008. In 2017, Modelo became the official beer sponsor for the growing mixed martial arts company, but now Bud Light will take its place, as Modelo is distributed by Constellation Brands.

Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth expressed, “Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light have always been at the forefront of iconic sporting moments etched in fans’ memories, and our reunion with UFC continues this legacy of industry leadership.”

The UFC, owned by the recently formed TKO Group Holdings Inc., has an audience of over 700 million fans and offers Bud Light visibility in approximately 900 million TV households across more than 170 countries.

UFC CEO Dana White stated, “Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light were UFC’s original beer sponsors over fifteen years ago. 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.”


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