'Boycott UFC' Calls Soar After Mega-Sponsorship Deal With Bud Light

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Oct 25, 2023 - 11:45 AM

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Anheuser-Busch InBev NV have entered into a multiyear marketing agreement, making Bud Light the official beer of the mixed martial arts promotional organization. This sponsorship is UFC CEO Dana White & Co's biggest one yet and has already sparked boycott calls from UFC fans. 

Anheuser-Busch wrote in a press release that the new multiyear marketing partnership will begin on Jan. 1. The brewer will become the "Official Beer Partner of UFC," and Bud Light will be plastered on broadcasts, signage across arenas, fight-week activities, social media channels, weigh-ins, press conference, and much much more. 

UFC was in a previous sponsorship with Modelo, which has since become America's top-selling beer after Bud Light sales imploded following its disastrous 'woke' advertising with trans-TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney earlier this year. We noted days ago that the brewer reportedly 'bribed' distributors to keep their beer on the shelves. 

Citibank data shows Bud Light sales continue to flounder: 

Weekly US Nielsen data through to 7th October shows Bud Light volume/sales declines continued broadly in line with prior trends. Latest weekly volumes were down -29% (last 3-mth average -30%), with sales down -27% (-27%), while volume share was down -387bps and value -352bps (last three months -399bps and -354bps, respectively). There continues to be contagion to the wider ABInBev portfolio, with Budweiser, Busch, and Michelob still weak, while Coors, Miller, and Modelo (Constellation) continue to gain share. Our estimates and the stock price increasingly discount a base case where the current rates of volume decline in ABI’s US portfolio continue through Q1-24E. As we head into 2024, given likely COGS deflation, an ongoing focus on overheads containment, the risk to the management’s 4-8% mid-term EBITDA growth guidance appears to be skewed to the upside. We reiterate our preference for Beer stocks and Buy rating on ABInBev

Clay Travis, the founder of sports media website OutKick, said Bud Light spent $100 million on the sponsorship: 

Bud Light just spent $100 million on a UFC sponsorship deal to try and cancel out the chicks with dicks ad. No one is drinking Bud Light at any tailgate I've been to this fall. Brand is dead:

The response was overwhelmingly negative as calls for a boycott mount:

"Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light were UFC's original beer sponsors more than 15 years," Dana White said in a press release. 

He added: "I'm proud to announce we are back in business together. "