October 27, 2023

Et Tu, UFC?

Having thrown in with Bud Light on a record-breaking sponsorship deal, Dana White and UFC might be setting themselves up for a spinning back kick.

Dana White is a smart dude, and heretofore he’s been a great businessman. So why on earth would he risk his UFC® brand by throwing in with Bud Freaking Light?

From its humble, hardscrabble beginnings in 1993 as a professional mixed martial arts organization, the Ultimate Fighting Championship organization has, as its website points out, “revolutionized the fight business and today stands as a premium global sports brand, media content company, and the largest Pay-Per-View event provider in the world.”

Just how flush is UFC? The organization reportedly makes more than $1 billion a year. But that’s chump change, a sucker’s share, a rusty pug’s purse. Earlier this year, a single publicly traded company, TKO Group Holdings, was formed to house both UFC and Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment, and the total value of that entertainment colossus is $24.1 billion, with UFC accounting for just over half of it.

And yet. As CNBC reports: “Bud Light will again become the official beer sponsor for the Ultimate Fighting Championship with a six-year marketing partnership, the companies announced Tuesday. The sponsorship deal is ‘well into the nine figures,’ and the largest in the mixed martial arts promotion’s history.”

Why, Dana? Why?

“Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light were UFC’s original beer sponsors more than 15 years ago,” said White on Tuesday. “I’m proud to announce we are back in business together.”

If White were in better touch with his UFC customers, and if A-B were that eager to ink a deal, he’d have added a condition to the pending partnership: He’d have demanded that Bud Light first make amends, that the company first issue an apology to its customers.

Fat chance of that. As part of the deal, which goes into effect on January 1, Bud Light gets “exclusive and prominent branding at UFC fights and events, as well as in-arena promotion. In addition, the brewer will collaborate on original content for UFC’s digital and social channels.”

In other words, UFC fans are gonna be seeing Bud Light everywhere. And if you’re like us, everywhere you see a Bud Light banner, you’re going to see Dylan Mulvaney subliminally. We can’t help it. We can’t unsee her him.

What was White’s reason for giving a big middle finger to his loyal fan base? “There are many reasons why I chose to go with Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light,” he said, “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.”

Is he now? In fairness to White, that alignment he spoke of is real. Donald Trump Jr. tried to point this out on his “Triggered” podcast back in April, taking some serious flak while noting that Anheuser-Busch, its employees, and its Political Action Committee gave “about 60 percent to Republicans” in the last election cycle — which is a remarkably strong share in today’s climate of rank corporate wokeism. But then in June, just as the Mulvaney fiasco was dying down, they gave a $200,000 kiss to the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

White, though, had his price. And the price was somewhere north of $100 million over six years, the value of UFC’s Bud Light deal. As he told Sean Hannity earlier this week: “They employ 65,000 Americans. They have thousands of vets that work for them. They spend $700 million a year with U.S. farmers using their crops to make their products.”

All that is true, but there’s a reason why A-B, which was acquired by Belgium-based InBev in 2008, lost $27 billion in market value after partnering with Mulvaney. Why? Because customers saw that grotesque little marketing ploy as a big-time betrayal. And who can blame them? As our Mark Alexander rightly noted, “This is the fault of woke corporate management, not the consumers who embody the free market.”

Ever since then, A-B has been getting a crash course at the School of Hard Knocks. With news of White’s spit-swapping dalliance with Bud Light, some UFC fans seem ready to take to the Octagon. They’re threatening a boycott. As commentator Robbie Starbuck opines:

Lighting that money on fire would have been less embarrassing than what’s about to happen. Fighters are gonna hate this. Fans will hate it. The customers aren’t coming back @budlight. Period. You made your bed with men who think they’re women, now sleep in it. I get that Dana thinks he has to take the easy money but this damages the UFC brand and puts his fighters in bad spots where they WILL speak out against it. Watch. Embarrassment awaits.

In classic White fashion, though, he punched back against his critics, calling them “dummies” and seeming unconcerned that these were also his customers: “I saw some other f***ing a**hole today saying, ‘Oh, it sounds like they wrote him a script on what to say.’ Nobody writes me a script. Nobody tells me what to say. Ever.”

In other words, Shut up, he explained.

It’ll be interesting to see whether UFC fans take his advice or give him the Bud Light treatment.

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2024 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.