(It was either this or a picture of a beer bottle.)
Just two weeks after the UFC debuted its first big-name sponsor, with Harley Davidson taking the center of the Octagon at “Nemesis,” MMAPayout reports that a sponsorship deal with Budweiser may be close to being finalized. From Adam Swift’s report:
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…UFC President Dana White has been adamant in recent media appearances that the company is on the verge of landing several blue chip sponsors. Budweiser, on the heels of Harley-Davidson, would certainly fit that bill and silence much of the criticism directed at the UFC for its failure to lure mainstream sponsors.
The collapse of the CBS deal is a gut-shot, to be sure, but a sponsorship from the King of Beers would be a fantastic consolation prize, considering that the UFC will remain ghettoized to some extent as long as its biggest sponsors are Xyience and Mickey’s Malt Liquor. It’s understandable that large corporations would want to take a wait-and-see approach when it comes to associating themselves with blood-sports, but there’s no denying the UFC’s reach among young men. On the other side of the coin, a Bud sponsor in the UFC’s corner would probably give them more juice the next time they try to negotiate with a television network. As the biggest name in MMA, the UFC deserves Budweiser. Let EliteXC have Mickey’s Big Mouth. As for the IFL? We’re thinking Natty Light.
By the way, those Bud girls at the top of this post may look hot now, but in 20 years they’ll look like this: