Bud Light Scores Knockout Sponsorship Deal with UFC, Ignites Controversy Among Fans


In a groundbreaking move, Bud Light has secured a record-breaking sponsorship deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), making it the official beer of the fighting promotion. The deal, reportedly worth over $100 million, marks a significant milestone in the history of sports sponsorships.

UFC CEO Dana White expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership, stating that he chose to align with Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light due to their shared core values and what the UFC brand represents. This partnership comes at a crucial time for Bud Light, which has seen its volumes decline by 30% year-over-year for the four weeks ending on October 7.

However, this monumental deal has not been met with universal approval. A considerable number of UFC fans have voiced their dissatisfaction with the new brand deal, accusing Dana White of “selling out.” The terms of the contract have yet to be released to the public, further fueling speculation and discontent among the fanbase.

The controversy surrounding the deal is further complicated by Bud Light’s recent marketing decisions. Many UFC fighters have openly criticized Bud Light for using trans activist Dylan Mulvaney in a marketing campaign, claiming it contradicts the values of the UFC community.

Despite the backlash, insiders at ESPN have reported that this is the biggest sponsorship deal in the UFC’s 29-year history. The multiyear contract, set to begin on January 1, 2024, follows the UFC’s merger with WWE under parent company Endeavor to form the new publicly traded company TKO last month.

Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light were UFC’s original beer sponsors more than fifteen years ago. The renewal of this partnership signifies a return to the roots of the UFC, despite the changing landscape of the sport and its audience.

As the dust settles on this historic deal, it remains to be seen how the UFC community will respond.

Will the backlash from fans and fighters alike impact the success of this partnership, or will Bud Light manage to regain its footing in the market through its association with one of the most popular fighting promotions in the world? Only time will tell.