Bud Light and the Ultimate Fighting Championship on Wednesday announced the renewal of Bud Light’s official beer sponsorship of the UFC, but the renewal ratchets up Bud Light’s promotional commitment in several areas, and even includes a special live fight event in September.
Bud Light’s multi-year renewal ups its commitment as the presenting sponsor from two UFC pay-per-view events per year to four, keeps the brand as a featured sponsor for all other UFC broadcasts, and includes branding on the UFC’s digital assets such as its website, as well as its Facebook and YouTube pages.
What UFC fans will likely find most interesting, however, is a specially promoted live event on Sept. 17 in New Orleans that will air on Spike TV. Bud Light will promote the special fight event with a strong marketing campaign titled the “Battle on the Bayou” sweepstakes, which includes a travel package giveaway. The promotion will be integrated into the Bud Light Facebook page and UFC-branded Bud Light point-of-sale materials.
The event is likely to be dubbed UFC Fight Night 25, and is tentatively planned for the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, according to a UFC source. No specific details about the fight card have surfaced yet. Bud Lights renewal is said to include such an event once per year.
“Bud Light’s first three years with the UFC have focused largely on growing awareness and viewership of the sport at bars, restaurants and all the other places Bud Light is sold across the country,” said Mark Wright, vice president of media, sports & entertainment marketing, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. “Having brought the UFC to more people, we want to start bringing more people to the UFC by creating exclusive fan experiences only Bud Light and the UFC can deliver. ‘Battle on the Bayou’ is a first and unprecedented step in that direction.”
“Bud Light’s sponsorship deal with us a few years ago was a milestone for our organization and the sport,” added UFC president Dana White. “We couldn’t be more excited about working with Bud Light and continuing our strong relationship.”
One fun addition for UFC fans that are interested in collectibles is that Bud Light will also release a limited edition UFC aluminum bottle, the first Bud Light bottle to bear the UFC logo.
(UPDATED at 12:20 p.m. on April 6, 2011, to include details about the naming of UFC Fight Night 25 and the venue.)