(Pour one out…)
It’s kind of sad that it’s taken this long for the UFC to get a non-malt-liquor beer sponsor. But after years spent presenting Rock Paper Scissors tournaments, the Phoenix Suns’ official blog, the New Jersey State Barbecue Championship, and countless games of Beirut, Bud Light has decided that the UFC is finally respectable enough to bear its name. From today’s press release on UFC.com:
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Feb. 28, 2008) – This spring, millions of Ultimate Fighting Championship® fans will see a new heavyweight take the center of the Octagon™. Today Anheuser-Busch and UFC® 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…
“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.”
So, starting with UFC 84 in May, the Bud Light logo will be in the center of the Octagon and on the vertical bumpers, and will be featured during press conferences and weigh-ins. It will also be the presenting sponsor for two UFC pay-per-view events per year. And beginning June 1, Bud Light will also be the official beer sponsor of World Extreme Cagefighting events on VERSUS.
Update: An source who wishes to remain anonymous has revealed to CagePotato that EliteXC has just locked down Coca-Cola to sponsor its live events on CBS, and that an enraged Dana White has killed two people in his office. We’ll keep you posted on this shocking turn of events…