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Report: UFC close to signing sponsorship deal with Budweiser

That’s the scoop according to Adam Swift at MMA Payout:

Multiple sources within the industry have told MMAPayout.com that the UFC is on the verge of consummating a deal with Budweiser. Negotiations reportedly began as part of the UFC’s negotiations with CBS. Once the CBS deal stalled, conversations continued between the UFC, Budweiser, and Spike TV.

It should be noted that none of the sources referenced are parties to the negotiations (i.e. placed within the UFC or Budweiser). As a result, the above report should be considered rumor or informed speculation at best. It also bears mentioning that the situation is fluid and can change quickly, as evidenced by similar situations with the UFC and HBO/CBS.

This could be huge for the industry as a whole, right on the heels of a new sponsorship deal with Harley Davidson. It’s been a big gripe from hardcore fans that the UFC can’t get blue chip sponsors on board. If this happens, there won’t be anymore gripes. It should speak volumes about the product that Budweiser is still interested even though the CBS deal has stalled. Great news if it ends up happening.

13 COMMENTS
  • Evan says:

    This will be hailed as a pretty big sponsor in America as well as the UK where the UFC has its sites set on. Budweiser is HUGE in the UK and pretty much dominates all alcohol ads. Once upon a time all American beer was labeled as watered down piss but its amazing how Budweiser infiltrated the UK beer market. Amazing turnaround. The only think Budweiser hasn’t done is snag a sponsor deal with a top tier EPL team but I am not sure that is even allowed on the premiership level.

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  • Evan says:

    Think – Thing

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  • woooburn says:

    i just watched the ufc wired replay of hughes/penn, and the main sponsor (in the middle of the octagon), was miller lite. thats not THAT different, is it? granted budwesier is THE american beer i guess.

    was there news of the cbs deal falling through? this is the first i’d read about it.

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  • Adam Morgan says:

    Wooburn,

    The thing with Miller Lite is that it was only for one event. In the end the UFC ended up just getting Mickey’s, the bastard son of the Miller Brewing Company. The Budweiser deal is supposedly going to be a long term sponsor.

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  • woooburn says:

    oh alright… i wasnt thinking about it in those terms. thanks.

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  • Evan says:

    woooburn

    Also you need to consider the most critical aspect of marketing , “Brand Recognition”

    You ask 10, 000 Americans to name the first beer that comes to mind and I guarantee”Budweiser,” “Bud” or “Bud light”are all far and beyond ahead of “Miller Light,” “Miller” or “Mickey’s”

    “Brand Recognition” is everything in marketing. Its why Dana pretty much always uses the term “UFC” when talking about MMA. He is always pushing for the “Branding.” A lot of casual MMA fans have no idea what “MMA” is, but they know what the “UFC” is…..so besides what Adam said in terms of a long term deal this is a much bigger “Brand” in terms of marketing status which means bigger money and bigger advertisers simply look better when you have relationship with them. “Mickey’s” looks so cheap but “Budweiser” is a bigboy!

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  • soflamma says:

    If this means I can get a Budweiser instead of the other crap when i go to the next fight at the Palms, then i emphatically support this idea.

    Who drinks Mickeys anyway?

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  • mike wolfe says:

    Landing Bud as a sponsor could be a watershed moment in MMA, a huge step toward mainstream attention and acceptance. I sincerely hope this happens. Can you imagine how great MMA will be if it has even a fraction of the success of other, once obscure sports like NASCAR? Huge numbers of new fighters from all over the world, bigger venues, even better televised events. MMA could explode even more than it has over the last five years.

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  • Matt says:

    Budweiser can afford it b/c they no longer sponsor Dale Earnhardt Jr. Kasey Khane and the UFC make up the merchandise sales tab.

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  • atom says:

    “Landing Bud as a sponsor could be a watershed moment in MMA, a huge step toward mainstream attention and acceptance.”

    True, but wouldn’t the CBS deal have been an even bigger milestone? If the UFC had signed any type of long term deal that put them on network television, finding the type of sponsors they’re looking for would be cake.

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  • glock says:

    I think it’s great news and I hope it happens. A very synergistic endeavor, even symbiotic… yeah, that’s it……. !

    Also, FWIW Guiness has the license to make and market Budwieser in the UK.
    I too found it really bizarre, when after my pilgrimage to the motherland for my first real Guiness I sit down whilst the barkeep draws it, and notice that all (well many) of the locals proudly drinking “the king of beers”in eponymously labeled glasses – almost spoiled me Guiness laddy.

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  • mike wolfe says:

    I had the same experience over 20 years ago. There I was in the UK, home to some of the best beers and whiskeys in the world. And yet the most popular beverages in the pubs were Coors and Jack Daniels. I had a few laughs about that with some really nice blokes.

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  • Ray Jay says:

    If this is true, it will have to be announced very soon. These sponsorship deals are done almost a year in advance.

    And if true does this mean at the live events fans can now take pictures with the Clydesdale’s instead of the Mickey’s girls?

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