UFC CEO Dana White responds to backlash over new Bud Light deal

By Susan Cox - October 26, 2023

UFC CEO Dana White is responding to the backlash over the new Bud Light deal.

Dana White, UFC, The UFC

The UFC  made the announcement yesterday, October 25th, that it had signed a six-year sponsorship deal with Bud Light, beginning on January 1st of 2024 ,which is expected to be worth upwards of $100 million. Bud Light will be replacing  Modelo as the UFC’s official beer sponsor.

Bud Light had come under controversy earlier this year for partnering with transgender media influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Conservatives actually called for a boycott of Bud Light and the company took a major hit in sales.

However, Dana White, while aware of the potential backlash the UFC could receive as a result of partnering with Bud Light, is not overly concerned.

White, speaking to reporters after last nights’ Power Slap 5, shared his thoughts:

“Believe me, if you think I got into this thinking that wouldn’t happen, you’re out of your mind. People are very opinionated about this, and it’s almost like in the COVID thing. Through COVID, what did I say during COVID? Somebody’s got to be first. There are reasons why I felt we could be first going through COVID, knew we would do it right, yada, yada, yada. You know the story. But when it comes to Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light, everybody talks about, ‘Oh, you did it for money.’ Hey, dummies, all sponsorship deals are about money. OK? So, when you talk about being a sellout, I have multiple (offers) in front of me.”

Continuing, Dana White said that for him the deal was not about the money:

“So it’s not like Bud Light showed up and they were the only option I had to get money. You know how f*cking stupid that is? This was all about, and I said this yesterday and I’ll say it again, everybody on every side of this deal that were involved, other beer companies and everything else absolutely, positively know that this was not about money for me. We were going to end up with money no matter who we ended up with. For Anheuser-Busch, it was about values, core values for me. I’m at a point in my life, and I’m at a point in my career, where nothing is just about money anymore.”

Justifying the decision to partner with Anheuser-Busch, White concluded (h/t MMAJunkie):

“I am a big military, law enforcement guy. (Bud Light has) these Folds of Honor where they’ve spent $44 million over the last however many years, fallen first responders and military people, their families get taken care of with this money, scholarships for their kids, etc. That is right up my alley. Almost $1 billion a year goes to U.S. farmers for their crops, for their products. That is right up my alley.”

“That is exactly who I am. Sixty-five thousand Americans are employed by Anheuser-Busch, and thousands of them are vets. Right up my alley. And I can keep going on and on forever and tell you why I’m more aligned with Anheuser-Busch than any of the other beer companies that were offering to pay us money.”

What do you think of the new partnership between the UFC and Bud Light? Are you surprised by Dana White’s sentiments?

Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!


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