Bud Light becomes UFC sponsor

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(The Hill) — Bud Light will become the official beer of the UFC next year, the companies announced Tuesday, a major deal for a beer maker that saw sales slow after backlash from its promotional campaign with a transgender influencer.

The sponsorship will begin Jan. 1.

“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 statement. “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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Financial details of the deal were not disclosed — but, citing a person familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported that the global agreement marks the UFC’s largest sponsorship ever, surpassing a $175 million fight-kit deal signed with Crypto.com back in 2021.

Bud Light, the top-selling beer for two decades in the United States, lost its first-place spot after boycotts over its partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

Conservatives pressed for the boycott of Bud Light, though the controversy also affected the company with people on the left angered that it did not do enough to defend Mulvaney and its partnership during the controversy.

The company said it took several months for sales to become stable after the controversy. The company laid off almost 2 percent of its U.S. workforce amid the fallout.

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Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth said the company has “always been on the cutting edge” of sporting moments.

“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,” Whitworth’s statement said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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