What was once America’s most popular beer is returning to the octagon yet again.
Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Bud Light, announced it has struck a massive multi-year partnership with the Ultimate Fighting Championship to again make Bud Light the official beer partner of the UFC. Effective Jan. 1, 2024, Anheuser-Busch said the brand will return to the premier mixed martial arts organization with custom social and digital content, broadcast integration, on-site presence, and more.
“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,” CEO Brendan Whitworth said in a statement. “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.”
Bud Light was the UFC’s official beer partner in the U.S. from 2008 through 2017, until Modelo took over. Now the company will be taking that role back in a deal that’s expected to be worth north of $100 million.
UFC president and CEO Dana White said he’s looking forward to partnering up with Bud Light again and can’t wait to see where it takes both brands.
“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,” White said. “I’m looking forward to all of the incredible things we will do in the years ahead.”
Bud Light, which was the top-selling beer in America for two decades, lost that title earlier this year amid political backlash over the company’s partnership with transgender rights activist Dylan Mulvaney. Now the company is hoping to gain that top spot back by expanding its brand recognition before the UFC’s estimated 700 million fans in 170 countries.
“As leaders of our category, we are focused on new opportunities to connect with consumers in new occasions,” said Marcel Marcondes, global chief marketing officer for Anheuser-Busch parent company AB InBev. “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.”