Bud Light is becoming the movie monster in every low-budget slasher movie that was popular in the late 90s and early 2000s: Just when you think the brand is dead, it comes back for one last jump scare or final kill. This time the brand has now hooked itself into a six-year, multimillion dollar deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The move was head-scratching for fans of the sport who tend to lean more on the conservative side of the political spectrum — and who don’t appreciate Bud Light acknowledging transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. The tip of the spear, UFC President Dana White, was at the forefront of former president Donald Trump‘s 2020 campaign when it wasn’t popular for other famous people to do so. White worked heavily with Trump’s team during the coronavirus pandemic to make sure that UFC could still continue while the nation navigated through Dr. Anthony Fauci’s web of restrictions. Given all that and more, UFC, headed by White, was probably the last entity that people expected to be partnering with such a toxic brand to conservatives. Some fans expressed their outrage and called for a boycott of the UFC. A quick search for “#BoycottUFC” on social media yields a number of furious posts. In response to that backlash, White went on comedian Theo Vonn’s “About Last Night” podcast to defend his position on Tuesday.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
WARNING: The following video contains language that some viewers will find offensive.Vonn asked White if he’s in the position where brands come to him like on the popular show “Shark Tank.” “Kinda. The UFC is at a point now where, you know, guys come to us and want to pitch their brands or whatever it is to advertise with us. And recently, I’ve become really involved on the sponsorship side,” White explained. “I’m at a point now where, in my life and in my career, that I want to be with people that I’m aligned with. It’s not just about the money.” White then got into the meat and potatoes about the backlash against Bud Light: “It’s like this whole Bud Light deal. People are talking s*** now. Sellout and all this f***ing s***. Believe me, I’m the furthest f***ing thing from a sellout.” The UFC president added: “Bud Light is the right move for me. They’re exactly who I want to be with right now. And we are very aligned as far as core values go.” “65,000 Americans they employ. That right there should be enough,” White argued. “Why would you want to put a bullet in that brand off of one f***ing thing? How about you go back and look at all the good things that they’ve done?” “They take care of veterans. They take care of veterans’ families and first responders’ families that have fallen. And the list goes on and on. Almost a billion dollars a year with US farmers. That alone should be the reason you should be drinking f***ing Bud Light,” White debated. Dana White went on to argue that other influencers received the cans. He stressed that he simply isn’t ready to leave the company over one promotional can to Mulvaney. White added that people should not hold their breath for an apology from Bud Light parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev any time soon. Look, it’s hard to deny that it looks like White has been spoon-fed his talking points by his overlords at Bud Light. But to give him some credit, some of the things that Bud Light is doing for America’s hard working farmers as well as the men and women who put their life on the line for this country are truly a meaningful and heartfelt gesture. Still, it doesn’t seem like a particularly great strategy to tell fans who felt betrayed by the brand to suck it up and that it was just one little mistake. It’s important to note that those conservatives who are pretty peeved about the Bud Light scandal undeniably make up part of White’s paying customers base, as well. On a more personal note, as an avid fan of the UFC myself, it doesn’t send the right message to someone like me, who pays an arm and a leg to watch the pay-per-view fights, that you really don’t care about the concerns of the customer base. Many people in the target demographic of UFC are hard-working, middle-class Americans. They’ve been beaten down with skyrocketing inflation, stagnant wages, and woke agendas being shoved down their throats everywhere they turn. They feel helpless and that no one in their local, state and especially the federal government has their back. The reason why people cling to some of these protests of woke brands so hard is because its something that they can do. The average citizen with a job can’t go to Washington D.C. and lobby for legislation to make their daily lives better, but you know what they can do? They can go see the “Sound of Freedom” movie and support country singer Jason Aldean‘s “Try That in a Small Town.” It’s even easier for them to stop doing something. For example, those Americans who stopped shopping at Target and drinking Bud Light. The best part is that they can see the tangible results of their efforts when Aldean’s hit soars to the top of the charts or when Bud Light parent company’s shares tank. They get to celebrate that victory and that’s something that White needs to understand: He’s inadvertently — directly and indirectly — undermining their victory. The American people sent a message to Bud Light because they were furious. White is summarily dismissing that fury. If White is not careful, it becomes really easy to stop paying for those expensive pay-per-views, or to start tuning into alternative mixed martial arts leagues. It’s yet to be seen if this brand partnership will hurt the UFC’s money machine or revive the former popularity of Bud Light. Bottom line: The UFC is a great brand as a whole and has been very considerate to the many conservative superstars it has on its roster, as well as American heroes. It would be a shame if Bud Light becomes the knockout blow to something loved by so many conservative fans.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.