UFC has struck a multiyear marketing partnership with Anheuser-Busch, with the brewer set to become the exclusive official beer partner of the mixed martial arts powerhouse starting in January.
“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,” UFC CEO Dana White said Tuesday. He said the beer giant and Bud Light were UFC’s “original beer sponsors more than 15 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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The move comes as Bud Light sales were hit with a boycott last spring by consumers angered by a campaign featuring transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Sales continued to slump this summer despite a massive marketing campaign.
Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth said the company 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.”
Integration into key UFC assets will ranges from live events, including broadcast features and in-arena promotion, to original content distributed through UFC digital and social channels with UFC’s global footprint giving AB InBev “meaningful brand visibility before more than 700 million fans in 170 countries, as well as an estimated 900 million TV households that receive UFC’s broadcasts,” the announcement said.
In the U.S., Bud Light will receive prominent branding inside the the Octagon at every UFC event including all Pay-Per-Views and Fight Nights, Dana White’s Contender Series, The Ultimate Fighter reality series and Road To UFC, a win-and-advance tournament for Asia’s top MMA prospects.
Bud Light will also be integrated into custom broadcast features in all U.S. UFC Pay-Per-Views, with its “Easy to Enjoy” and “Easy to Celebrate” fan campaigns highlighted in the segments.
UFC and Bud Light will collaborate on original content distributed through UFC’s digital and social channels, which reach more than 243 million users worldwide. And Bud Light will also have a visible presence at UFC fight week activities, including press conferences and weigh-ins, that help build anticipation for the main events.
In international markets, Budweiser and select local AB InBev brands will activate the sponsorship across events and marketing.
“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,” said Marcel Marcondes, Global Chief Marketing Officer, AB InBev.
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