Bud Light will become the official beer of the Ultimate Fighting Championship next year as part of a sponsorship deal that aims to revive America’s former No. 1 beer.
The multiyear deal, which starts in January, will put Anheuser-Busch’s signature light beer center stage, with the beverage’s logo highlighted during weigh-ins and fights.
“There are many reasons why I chose to go with Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light, most importantly because I feel we are very aligned when it comes to our core values and what the UFC brand stands for,” Dana White, CEO of the mixed martial arts firm, said in a statement.
While the exact financial figures of the deal haven’t been made public, reporting suggests it could be Anheuser-Busch’s biggest sponsorship deal ever — larger than its 2021 ad pact with Crypto.com for $175 million.
The deal will have Bud Light replace the UFC’s last top beer, Modelo, the Mexican lager that passed Bud Light as America’s No. 1 beer this year.
The partnership with UFC comes as AB tries to claw back customers who may have dropped the brand over its association with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Since the backlash, the company has made significant efforts to rebrand the beer by partnering with NFL stars like Travis Kelce and limiting their pride-related branding.
Brand sales are still down, however, as more customers move to Miller and Modelo products. Year-over-year sales for Bud Light fell 30% in the four weeks ahead of Oct. 7, according to NielsenIQ data.