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UFC Signs Deal With Anheuser-Busch For The Largest Sponsorship

UFC Signs Deal With Anheuser-Busch For The Largest Sponsorship

Modelo’s international business is owned by Anheuser-Busch, but its U.S. rights are not, as a result of a 2013 deal with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Modelo's international business is owned by Anheuser-Busch, but its U.S. rights are not, as a result of a 2013 deal with the U.S. Department of Justice.

The UFC has a new, six-year sponsorship agreement with Anheuser-Busch, the biggest in the MMA company’s history.

(722) Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth on Bud Light boycotts #shorts – YouTube

The new contract, which goes into effect in January, makes Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE: BUD) the official global beer partner of the UFC. In the US, Bud Light will take precedence, though it reserves the right to promote any of its other brands (including Corona, Stella Artois, Quilmes, and Michelob Ultra) abroad.

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UFC Signs Deal With Anheuser-Busch 

Although the deal’s specifics were not disclosed, a source acquainted with the particulars claims that it is the largest UFC has ever signed on a yearly basis. Two years ago, the business and Crypto.com agreed to a ten-year partnership that, if all the options are exercised, will pay an average of $17.5 million annually.

The UFC, which officially merged with WWE in September to form a new publicly traded business called TKO Group Holdings (NYSE: TKO), has now closed three significant deals in the past several weeks. On October 11, UFC revealed it would stage its inaugural event in Saudi Arabia in conjunction with the Riyadh Season Festival. A week later, it revealed it had extended its agreement with Abu Dhabi’s Department of culture and Tourism, allowing it to continue holding events in the United Arab Emirates through 2028.

The Anheuser-Busch acquisition also marks a reunion with an old friend. From 2008 to 2017, Bud Light served as the UFC’s official beer partner. Some employees of the company view that partnership as a significant turning point for UFC because mixed martial arts was then widely regarded as being too brutal for mainstream sports. In addition, the company probably benefited from the legitimacy of a partnership with the largest brewer in the nation.

Modelo replaced Anheuser-Busch as the UFC’s official beer partner in the United States after that initial agreement expired. Modelo’s international business is owned by Anheuser-Busch, but its U.S. rights are not, as a result of a 2013 deal with the U.S. Department of Justice. In other nations, UFC also struck one-off, much smaller agreements with breweries.

The past year has been turbulent for Bud Light. Conservatives called for a boycott of the company in April due to its association with Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender activist and popular TikTok user. Some estimates place the company’s losses from the incident in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Anheuser-Busch revealed in August a 10.5% quarterly revenue loss that was “primarily due to the volume decline of Bud Light.”

In the wake of the Mulvaney deal, Donald Trump was one of the prominent personalities who joined the clamor of people denouncing Bud Light. Additionally, Dana White, the president of the UFC, and Trump have a close personal friendship that has been longstanding and well-documented.

In the TKO merger, UFC was initially valued at $12.1 billion. In the fiscal year 2022, it made $1.1 billion in revenue.

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