When the Boston Red Sox dropped Budweiser and made Samuel Adams the team’s official beer, it seemed fitting that a local beer company became a local baseball team’s sponsor. Now, a whole sports organization is saying goodbye to Bud Light. The Ultimate Fighting Championship is adopting Modelo Especial as the new official beer of the UFC.
While AB InBev owns Modelo Especial, Constellation Brands owns the rights to the Modelo brand in the U.S. As a result, Modelo’s new partnership with the UFC means an entire sports league has officially replaced Bud Light with a brand AB InBev does not control in the U.S., which means a big loss for the large beer conglomerate. And there’s a lot of excitement over the mixed martial arts league’s new sponsor. “Modelo is an amazing brand that shares UFC’s unmatched commitment to its fan base,” according to UFC president Dana White. “I love Modelo and we’re already talking about doing a lot of exciting things together.”
Modelo is one of the most popular Mexican beer brands in the U.S., and is the second most imported beer in the country behind Corona Extra. As a result, the new Modelo sponsorship of the UFC makes a lot of financial sense. According to MMA Weekly, Modelo will sponsor certain UFC pay-per-view fights, have its brand advertised inside the Octagon, and will include UFC athletes in its advertising.
Sorry Bud Light, looks like it’s time for you to tap out.