This week, fans have criticized UFC CEO and president Dana White.
Dana White has refuted the claim that he is a sellout for re-partnering with Bud Light following the Dylan Mulvaney controversy. White states that the decision to reinstate Bud Light as the official beer sponsor of the UFC was not solely driven by financial considerations.
The UFC has inked a six-year sponsorship pact with Bud Light, set to commence in January and speculated to be valued at over $100 million. Bud Light is set to replace Modelo as the official beer sponsor of the UFC.
This agreement comes approximately six months after Bud Light collaborated with transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney for an ad campaign during March Madness, triggering widespread anger and boycotts across the nation.
During a Fox News interview, White elucidated that he believes his fundamental principles align with Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Bud Light.
“They were the inaugural beer company that we truly conducted business with. They were our inaugural major sponsor when we were initially establishing ourselves, and now we are returning with them,” White stated. “I understand all the controversy and other aspects, but from my personal perspective, venturing into a long-term agreement with another sponsor, I want to be affiliated with an entity that I genuinely resonate with.”
White further addressed his detractors during the post-fight press conference, stressing that this deal was not solely driven by monetary motives.
“When it comes to Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light, everybody talks about, oh, you did it for the money. Hey, dummies, all sponsorship deals are about money, so when you talk about being a sellout, I have multiple deals in front of me, so it’s not like Bud showed up, and they were the only option I had to get money.
“This was all about everybody on every side of this deal that were involved, other beer companies and everything else, absolutely positively know this was not about money for me. We were going to end up with money with no matter who we ended up with for Anheuser-Busch, it was about values, core values for me. I’m at a point in my life, and I’m at a point in my career where nothing is just about money anymore.”
White acknowledged the potential backlash the UFC may face for partnering with Bud Light, but he expressed that he is not concerned about it. He also explained why he feels aligned with Anheuser-Busch and its vision, making it a reasonable agreement for both him and the UFC.
“I saw some f—ing a–hole today saying it sounds like they wrote a script on what to say. Nobody writes me a script. Nobody tells me what to say, ever… If you look at every quote that I put out, every quote is me. Everything that’s posted on social media is me, and everything that comes out of this mouth is me. Nobody tells me what to say, nobody tells what to do, ever.”
“Everything I said about Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light is absolutely true, I am a big military and law enforcement guy. They have this folds of honor where they’ve spent $44 million over the last however many years. Fallen first responders and military people, their families get taken care of with this money, scholarships for their kids, that is right up my alley.”
“Almost $1 billion a year goes to U.S. farmers for their crops and their products. That is right up my alley. That’s exactly who I am.”
“65,000 Americans are employed by Anheuser-Busch, and thousands of them are vets, right up my alley.”
“I can go on and tell you why I’m more aligned with Anheuser-Busch than any other beer company.”
Many perceive the deal with Bud Light as an attempt by the beer company to rebrand itself with a younger demographic, especially after encountering substantial sales decline following the Mulvaney campaign.