The following is a press release from Anheuser-Busch:
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb. 28 —
This spring, millions of Ultimate Fighting Championship(R) fans will see a new heavyweight take the center of the Octagon(TM). Today Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD) and UFC(R) announced that Bud Light, the world’s best-selling beer, will become the new exclusive beer sponsor for the UFC.
Bud Light’s three-year deal with Zuffa, LLC, owner of the UFC brand, makes the American-style light lager with superior drinkability the exclusive beer sponsor of the UFC — the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization.
“UFC has developed a huge following in recent years and is wildly popular with the 21-34 year old fans we want to reach,” said Tony Ponturo, vice president, global media and sports marketing, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. “The number of people attending live events, buying the pay-per-views and talking about UFC around the water cooler continues to grow. It’s just a great place for us to be.”
“Landing Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light is huge for us, our fighters and especially our fans,” said Dana White, UFC president. “We’ve got the number one selling beer in the world and one of the top marketers in all of sports as our sponsor. If our TV ratings, pay-per-view buys and venue sell-outs weren’t enough, this definitely cements UFC as a major player in sports business.”
Beginning with UFC 84: ILL WILL, live from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 24, Bud Light signage will appear on the Octagon center mat, on its vertical bumpers during each of the UFC’s 10 or more annual pay-per-view events, and featured prominently during UFC press conferences and weigh-in events. Bud Light will be the presenting sponsor of two UFC pay-per-view events annually and serve as the official beer sponsor of the four or more UFC(R) Fight Nights(TM).
Additionally, beginning June 1, Bud Light will appear as the official beer sponsor of World Extreme Cagefighting(R) (WEC(TM)) events broadcast live on VERSUS network. The WEC brand, also owned by Zuffa, LLC, is the second largest mixed martial arts organization in the world and features championship divisions in lighter weight classes.
Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch is the leading American brewer, holding a 48.5 percent share of U.S. beer sales. The company brews the world’s largest-selling beers, Budweiser and Bud Light. Anheuser-Busch also owns a 50 percent share in Grupo Modelo, Mexico’s leading brewer, and a 27 percent share in China brewer Tsingtao, whose namesake beer brand is the country’s best-selling premium beer. Anheuser-Busch ranked No. 1 among beverage companies in FORTUNE Magazine’s Most Admired U.S. and Global Companies lists in 2007. Anheuser-Busch is one of the largest theme park operators in the United States, is a major manufacturer of aluminum cans and one of the world’s largest recyclers of aluminum cans. For more information, visit http://www.anheuser-busch.com.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship(R) is the world’s leading professional mixed martial arts organization and offers the premier series of MMA sports events. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, and headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., UFC(R) produces over twelve live pay-per-view events annually that are distributed residentially through North American cable and satellite providers including iNDEMAND Networks, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN Entertainment, Shaw Pay-Per-View, Bell ExpressVU, and Viewers Choice, and commercially through Joe Hand Promotions. In addition to its North American distribution, UFC programming is distributed in over 100 countries and territories throughout the world. For more information, or current UFC fight news, visit http://www.ufc.com or http://uk.ufc.com or http://www.ufcespanol.com.
Ultimate Fighting Championship(R), Ultimate Fighting(R), UFC(R), The Ultimate Fighter(R), Submission(R), As Real As It Gets(R), Zuffa(TM), The Octagon(TM) and the eight-sided competition mat and cage design are registered trademarks, trademarks, trade dress or service marks owned exclusively by Zuffa, LLC, in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other marks referenced herein may be the property of Zuffa, LLC or other respective owners.