The UFC is facing calls for a boycott after announcing a major sponsorship with disgraced beer Bud Light. The fighting organization struck a $100 million deal with Bud Light, sparking controversy among fans.
The UFC has historically been branded as a conservative organization that won’t cave to the demands of the woke mob while demonstrating loyalty to its consumer base. For example, the fighting league was adamant about not shutting down amid the pandemic when virtually every other sport was affected. Former President Donald Trump, who is friends with the President of the UFC, Dana White, is also frequently seen at events.
However, judging by the social media uproar the partnership has created, this reputation could be put at risk, where many are calling to boycott the UFC. Conservative personality Robby Starbuck posted on X (formerly Twitter) slamming the fighting organization, claiming the league is at risk of severely damaging its brand. He further alleges fighters and fans alike will be turned off from the nine-figure sponsorship.
“Bud Light is paying $100 Million to be the official beer of @UFC and you know what? 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.”
Bud Light is paying $100 Million to be the official beer of @UFC and you know what? 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… pic.twitter.com/L15A3jBLAW
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) October 25, 2023
In the face of controversy, Dana White provided an update on the sponsorship in an interview with Fox News. The American Tribune reported on his comments, where he explained that more than just money is associated with the Bud Light partnership.
“When you do sponsorships, you definitely do sponsorships for the money, too. Money is definitely a part of it, but money was not the decision-making [factor].” He continued, “There’s more to being aligned with a sponsor, a major sponsor like that, for as long as I’m going to be. There are many other things that are important to me other than just the money. And the people that were all involved in this negotiation, on every side, absolutely, positively know that my choice was not determined by money.”
Dana continued, “They were the first beer company that we really did business with. They were our first real big sponsor when we were getting started, and now we’re back with them,” White said. “I know all the controversy and everything else, but for myself, going into a long-term deal with another sponsor, I want to be with somebody that I’m actually aligned with.”
Interestingly, for Bud Light, this seems to be a complete retracement from the stance Bud Light marketing executive Alissa Heinerscheid took on the beer’s target audience, which she described as “fratty” and “out of touch.” UFC fans are generally considered to be conservative, demonstrating Bud Light’s attempt at winning their original target audience back over.
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