Bud Light returns as major sponsor of the UFC in ‘nine-figure’ blockbuster deal

Anheuser-Busch is the parent company of Bud Light. Recently, the company has inked a multi-year deal with the UFC which is slated to start on January 1, 2024.

The news comes six years after Modelo took over as the UFC’s official drink, replacing Bud Light.

During that time, Modelo Especial overtook Bud Light as the top product in America when conservatives demanded a national boycott of the product after it included transgender TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney in a March Madness advertisement.

Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light were the UFC’s first drink sponsors more than 15 years ago.

UFC CEO Dana White expressed his delight 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.”

Formerly regarded as the king of beer, Anheuser-Busch has had a turbulent 2023. This was a result of a marketing blunder using Mulvaney that led to a massive boycott of the company.

Recent revelations from Bud Light affirm a strategic shift towards sports and music-centric marketing campaigns, rendering the partnership with the UFC a no-brainer.

Under the terms of the new agreement, Bud Light will enjoy ‘prominent branding’ within the Octagon, including high visibility during Dana White’s Contender Series. This extensive integration extends to broadcasts and various social media platforms, further solidifying their presence.

While specific financial details remain confidential, initial reports suggest the deal could surpass the $100 million threshold. This marks it as the most lucrative sponsorship pact in UFC’s storied history.

Global Chief Marketing Officer of AB-InBev Marcel Marcondes expressed: “As leaders of our category, we are focused on new opportunities to connect with consumers in new occasions. UFC has become an undeniable force in the sports industry, and that’s why we’re so excited to partner with them and continue to amplify this sport around the world. We will be creating new and exciting brand experiences for UFC fans.”