Many were surprised by Tuesday’s announcement that UFC wrestling had entered into a six-year partnership contract with Bud Light.
Bud Light has largely been scorned and shunned after entering into an ill-advised marketing contract with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney.
The reported $100 million contract is seen by some as a last-gasp attempt to revive the brand that has lost its parent company, Anheuser-Busch, billions in revenue.
UFC CEO Dana White attempted to appease concerned fans by addressing the new partnership with Fox News host Sean Hannity.
When questioned if the partnership was driven by dollars, White replied: “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].”
White added: “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.”
Fox News reported that sources close to the situation told ESPN the partnership is the “biggest sponsorship agreement in UFC history.”
Hoping UFC patrons will see the big picture and noting how the beer company employs many hardworking American, White said: “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 added: “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.”
Trying to cover every base and argument, White noted the beer company’s support for Folds of Honor – a nonprofit providing scholarships to spouses and children of fallen or disabled veterans and first responders.
White also mentioned that Anheuser-Busch has provided millions in support of U.S. law enforcement and military personnel. White said: “I’m very big into law enforcement and military. And over the last, I don’t know how many years, they’ve spent like $45 million taking care of these servicemen and first responders. … So I am very aligned with Anheuser-Busch.”
Finally, White noted that the beer company has provided financial support to families impacted by natural disasters. White explained to Hannity: “Did you know that when there’s big disasters, they shut the plant down and they turn it into a water bottling facility?”
White added: “And they’ve bottled like 100 million bottles of water that they’ve sent out to disaster areas. I’m going to focus on the good that they do. We are very aligned in many different areas and that’s why they’re going to be my partner for the next six years.”
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