UFC announces Bud Light as official beer as Dylan Mulvaney furor dies down

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has partnered with alcoholic beverage giant Anheuser-Busch in a multiyear deal that will once again make Bud Light its official sponsor.

“UFC®, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization and part of TKO Group Holdings (NYSE: TKO), together with Anheuser-Busch, one of America’s most iconic companies, today announced a new multiyear marketing partnership. Effective January 1, 2024, the brewer will become the exclusive “Official Beer Partner of UFC,” Anheuser-Busch announced in a press release.

Bud Light is looking to repair the damage to its battered brand, seeming to hope that partnering with the hyper-masculine mixed martial arts organization will wash away the aftertaste of Dylan Mulvaney, the transgender TikTok influencer who it hooked up with in what will go down as one of the most disastrous decisions in corporate marketing history.

“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,” UFC CEO Dana White said in a press release. “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.”

Anheuser-Busch will replace Modelo as the UFC’s official beer sponsor. Terms of the deal were not immediately available although Yahoo Sports reported that a source told that outlet that it was in excess of $100 million.

In an appearance on Fox News host Sean Hannity’s radio show, White said that the deal “was the furthest thing about money.”

“These guys employ 65,000 Americans, thousands of vets they employ. 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,” he told Hannity.”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.”

While the furor over Mulvaney has died down, some aren’t ready to just pop a top on one of the familiar blue and white cans and let bygones by bygones and they took to X, formerly Twitter, with their takes on the UFC-Bud Light pact.

“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. 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,” Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth said in a press release.


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