Bud Light has landed a deal to become the official beer of the UFC, and the sports company is now facing calls for a boycott.
Bud Light has had an extremely rough year, after a partnership with transgender activist and influencer Dylan Mulvaney prompted a massive and sustained boycott by conservatives. Liberals later joined the boycott after claiming the brand did not do enough to defend the TikTok celebrity.
The UFC partnership is scheduled to begin on January 1.
Will Dylan be the Ring ‘Girl’? pic.twitter.com/Ynr4G6cFLF
— Brad Morgan (@BMoPawPaw) October 25, 2023
According to a press release from the companies, “With this sponsorship, in the U.S., Bud Light will bring easy enjoyment to 21+ fans with 360-degree programming, including custom social and digital content, broadcast integration, on-site presence, and more.”
This will include prominent branding inside the Octagon at every UFC event, other in-arena promotion, and “original content distributed through UFC’s popular digital and social channels.”
UFC CEO Dana White said in a statement, “Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light were UFC’s original beer sponsors more than 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. I’m looking forward to all of the incredible things we will do in the years ahead.”
I thought this was a joke. I guess the UFC will do anything to grow, but I won’t be a part of it. UFC294 was my last PPV buy. What a shame it will bring fans away from the sport. Plus, Modelo is actually a good beer.
— Shoulder to the Stone (@shouldertostone) October 25, 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. “As one of the largest and longest standing sport sponsors, we are excited to work with UFC to celebrate our passionate fans while always making a positive impact in communities across America.”
Bud Light had been the top selling beer in the US for over two decades, but was pushed out of the top spot and replaced by Modelo during the boycott.
Previous attempts to win back conservative beer drinkers included donating to a veteran’s organization, making camo print beer cans, and using more football and country music in their commercials.
There are now calls to boycott UFC circulating on social media.
UFC faces boycott calls after announcing deal with Bud Light reportedly worth $100M pic.twitter.com/mLwdIOHvDq
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) October 25, 2023
Bud Light is paying $100 Million to be the official beer of @UFC and you know what? Lighting that money on fire would have been less embarrassing than what’s about to happen. Fighters are gonna hate this. Fans will hate it. The customers aren’t coming back @budlight. Period. You… pic.twitter.com/L15A3jBLAW
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) October 25, 2023
“Bud Light is paying $100 Million to be the official beer of @UFC and you know what?” conservative activist Robby Starbuck wrote. “Lighting that money on fire would have been less embarrassing than what’s about to happen. Fighters are gonna hate this. Fans will hate it. The customers aren’t coming back @budlight . Period. You made your bed with men who think they’re women, now sleep in it. I get that Dana thinks he has to take the easy money but this damages the UFC brand and puts his fighters in bad spots where they WILL speak out against it. Watch. Embarrassment awaits.”