You would have thought that other brands would have learned from the Bud Light fiasco.
The boycott of Bud Light earlier this year is one of the most damaging boycotts in all of history.
The famed beer brand saw sales tank after partnering with Dylan Mulvaney, a radical transgender activist.
Well, apparently Bud Light is planning a comeback campaign.
They just agreed to a $100 million deal with UFC to make this comeback happen.
Now, UFC fans are upset at the partnership, claiming that the UFC is “selling out” for the money.
In fact, some fans are upset that calls to boycott the UFC are growing.
Given how disastrous the boycott was for Bud Light, the UFC is in seriously hot water.
wow i didnt know UFC was gay https://t.co/mj8pKUCCfp
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) October 24, 2023
'Boycott UFC' Calls Soar After Mega-Sponsorship Deal With Bud Light https://t.co/JP2Hn3rKwh
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) October 25, 2023
UFC faces boycott calls after announcing deal with Bud Light reportedly worth $100M pic.twitter.com/mLwdIOHvDq
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) October 25, 2023
Do these brands not understand their target audience?
Or do they not care at all?
Either way, their actions don’t make a lot of sense, especially from a business perspective.
Sure, $100 million might sound like a lot, but is it worth it if you tarnish your brand, alienate your fans, and destroy your bottom line in the process?
The New York Post confirms the growing calls for boycotting the UFC:
UFC is facing calls for a boycott after the mixed martial arts league announced on Tuesday that it inked a major sponsorship deal with Bud Light.Advertisement
The tie-up with Anheuser-Busch’s beleaguered brew — which has been slammed with sharp sales declines since its fleeting, ill-fated campaign in April with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney — is reportedly worth more than $100 million, according to MMA Fighting.
“UFC BOYCOTT IS ON,” one user shared to X following the announcement, which will see Bud Light’s logo on fighting rinks and in marketing materials as of January.
“Time to double down on the #BoycottBudLight and now #BoycottUFC,” another posted, while yet another chimed in: “Dumb move.”
“Bud Light [and] Anheuser-Busch are marketing MORONS, to try this,” another furious user posted of the six-year deal. “It’s like picking at a scab, it’s going to leave a scar.”
Of course, not all boycott threats materialize.
However, given how severe the Bud Light boycott was, UFC is likely in for a nasty surprise.
UFC President Dana White announces their partnership with Bud Light pic.twitter.com/FiXoHbkCZm
— • ᗰISᑕᕼIᗴᖴ ™ • (@4Mischief) October 25, 2023
Bud Light is paying $100 Million to be the official beer of @UFC and you know what? Lighting that money on fire would have been less embarrassing than what’s about to happen. Fighters are gonna hate this. Fans will hate it. The customers aren’t coming back @budlight. Period. You… pic.twitter.com/L15A3jBLAW
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) October 25, 2023
The reality is that people want a break from the real world.
They turn to entertainment and sports as a way to get a break from the daily grind.
People don’t want politics and controversial topics shoved down their throats at every turn, especially when they’re trying to relax and “escape.”
The Daily Caller published an editorial warning people not to “fall for it”:
It’s very clear what Bud Light is up to — and UFC at that.
The mixed martial arts organization announced Tuesday that Bud Light will be their official beer as part of a massive partnership with Anheuser-Busch — the anti-American beer brand still trying to recover from their Dylan Mulvaney marketing disaster that popped off back in March.
Dana White & Co. revealed that the Bud Light sponsorship is a multiyear agreement, with Sports Business Journal reporting that “it is a nine-figure deal, making it #UFC’s largest sponsorship deal ever.” Bud Light is expected to start having a large presence throughout UFC’s content on broadcasts and online in early 2024.
“Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light were UFC’s original beer sponsors more than fifteen years ago. I’m proud to announce we are back in business together,” UFC CEO Dana White said in a statement. “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. I’m looking forward to all of the incredible things we will do in the years ahead.”
“Core values,” my foot. This was all about a check — a very fat check.
If money is the only thing that speaks to these people, then don’t be surprised if a boycott materializes swiftly.
Don’t be surprised if UFC becomes synonymous with Bud Light.
Odds are that it will take decades for Bud Light’s reputation and sales to recover.
Is UFC the sequel?
Only time will tell.