UFC President Dana White recently defended his company's new partnership with Bud Light, countering claims that it was solely motivated by money. Instead, White emphasized that the decision was based on alignment of core values and shared beliefs with the Bud Light brand.
The partnership, which was announced a few days ago, involves a multiyear marketing deal between UFC's parent company TKO Group Holdings and Anheuser-Busch. Starting from January 1, 2024, Bud Light will become the exclusive "Official Beer Partner of UFC" in the United States. The sponsorship will include various initiatives like custom social and digital content, broadcast integration, and on-site presence.
In response to criticisms of the partnership, especially considering Bud Light's recent market decline due to a marketing misstep with gender activist Dylan Mulvaney, White insisted that the decision was not driven by financial gain alone. He highlighted the presence of multiple offers and stressed that the collaboration was based on shared values.
White refuted claims of being a sellout and expressed his independence in decision-making, stating, "Nobody writes me a script; nobody tells me what to say." He further explained that the reasons behind choosing Bud Light as a partner included their support for law enforcement, contributions to charities benefiting military veterans and first responders, and their substantial investment in U.S. farmers and employment of American veterans.
While these are just some of the reasons White mentioned, he emphasized that his core values played a crucial role in the agreement.