Can a Partnership With the UFC Help Save Bud Light After Dylan Mulvaney Debacle

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Will a new partnership with UFC help Bud Light sales?

Maybe I should say renewed old partnership, being as these two have been aligned before.

I’m pretty sure everybody knows the woeful tale of Bud Light (AB InBev) and the absolute beating they took when Alissa Heinerscheid, the now former vice president of marketing for Bud Light, thought it would be a nifty idea to line up with a trans activist and put their face on a can of Bud Light. If you don’t recall because a couple of months ago was ancient history here are some refreshers.

Here is one from my colleague Nick Arama:  Bud Light Takes Another Big Hit — Right in the Jobs of the Corporate Execs

From that post:

Anheuser-Busch InBev is now laying off hundreds of workers in its U.S. offices, after having months of falling sales in the wake of the boycott related to their relationship with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
The “workers” aren’t going to be the frontline guys such as the guys who brew the beer, drivers, or working guys — it’s going to be the people in the corporate offices, according to the report. The cuts would hit up to two percent of the 18,000 workforce. Two percent is about 360 workers.
“While we never take these decisions lightly, we want to ensure that our organization continues to be set for future long-term success,” Anheuser-Busch Chief Executive Brendan Whitworth said in a written statement. “These corporate structure changes will enable our teams to focus on what we do best—brewing great beer for everyone.”
The restructuring eliminated corporate and marketing roles at major U.S. offices, including St. Louis, New York and Los Angeles.
So now it’s hitting the executives right where they live — in their jobs.
In addition to sales falling up to 30 percent and losing billions in market capitalization, Bud Light also tumbled out of the number one beer sold in America, losing the crown to Modelo Especial. They also tumbled out of the top ten beers in popularity. On top of that, they also got the “death star” from at least some Costco stores which was another indication of just how bad things were going.

Of course, on the lighter side of things, I wrote about this:  Thank God for the Babylon Bee Recognizing Bud Light Destroyer as MAN of the Year

It is time once again to honor one man who has gone above and beyond to advance the cause of men and raise the bar for what other men seek to accomplish.
The Babylon Bee has chosen Dylan Mulvaney to receive the 2023 Man of the Year award.
Already a proven force to be reckoned with on the Chinese spy app TikTok, Mulvaney has gone on to make his mark as a celebrity spokesman powerful enough to utterly destroy the reputations of big-name consumer brands. None of them were more notable than Bud Light, the one-time top-selling beer, which hired Mulvaney as its pitchman last spring only to suffer the most precipitous financial freefall in the history of the beer industry. Once thought to be an invincible brand in the beverage world, Bud Light was brought to its knees by the man — the legend — that is Dylan Mulvaney.

MAN OF THE YEAR.

GENIUS.

Dammit, B.B., I love you.

It’s fair to say that 2023 has not been the year of Bud Light.

So will this news of Bud Light hooking up with UFC help them lay the groundwork for 2024?

UFC announced Bud Light will be its official beer as part of a partnership with Anheuser-Busch following months of controversy surrounding the beer brand that erupted earlier this year.
The mixed martial arts organization revealed Tuesday it struck a multiyear deal with the beer giant involving the Bud Light brand having a heavy presence in UFC’s content in its broadcasts and online beginning in 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 Tuesday. “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.”

Now, I have to admit I’ve watched the UFC and can’t really call myself a fan but I have enjoyed some of the matches.

I know that they always have advertising on the mat and, of course, the announcers will tell you who a match is sponsored by, but I don’t know if people really pay attention to that. I know that I don’t unless it’s a product that I’ve never heard about — and then I Google it on my phone and move on.

So I guess I’m up in the air on whether or not this could help change the fortunes of a beer brand that, over the past six or seven months, has taken a hellacious beating reminiscent of somebody in a UFC ring.

I did find it interesting that UFC President Dana White said this a couple of times in the announcement above.

“Where I sit personally with my core values and I felt like the core values of the UFC, even though we’re a global sport, and we have fighters from all over the world. This is an American company. And I love this country and this is more about me being aligned with somebody who is a sponsor of the UFC and somebody I’m going to work with every day.”

Core Values.

Like millions of dollars?

Now, I’m not going to knock anybody for being able to make a living (times 10) via something that they have worked all their lives to do — they have the right to associate and bring on any sponsors they want. The reverse is also applicable in that they could decide that they don’t want to partner up with a company because their core values don’t align.

Core values not aligning in that case means low bidder, I think.

Bud Light, at one time, was an iconic American brand that, during the Super Bowl, used to be one of the companies whose commercials you had to see. They obviously made a mistake with their customer base with the Dylan Mulvaney experiment, and I’m truly wondering if they’ll be able to bounce back from this. Or did the Mulvaney mistake kill it for good with the American public? 

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