The UFC and Bud Light are back together brewing excitement in the world of combat sports
November 1st, 2023, Hoang Nguyen

The UFC and Bud Light are back together brewing excitement in the world of combat sports

The world of sports sponsorships just saw a major development announced as UFC and Anheuser-Busch revealed a multiyear partnership.

The deal not only brings Bud Light back after 15 years as the official beer of UFC in the US but also extends their partnership on a global scale, with Anheuser-Busch becoming the “Official Global Beer partner of UFC”.

How does UFC fit into Bud Light's audience interest?

Data from YouGov Profiles – an advanced audience intelligence tool – shows there’s a significant fan overlap between US consumers who would consider buying Bud Light and the mixed martial arts organization.

Close to a quarter (23%) of people considering Bud Light are fans of the Ultimate Fighting Championships, meaning they’re somewhat interested in UFC or that it is one of their top interests. This group is more likely to be fans of UFC when compared to the average American (19%).

We also looked at where the UFC sits in terms of interest when compared to other sports organizations.

Among US consumers who would consider buying Bud Light, YouGov data shows that UFC comes in at 11th. This group is most likely to be fans of the NFL (58%), followed by the Summer Olympic Games (43%), Winter Olympic Games (42%), MLB (40%) and Division 1 Football (38%) and NBA (37%).

The UFC shares a similar level of interest to sports organizations such as FIFA Football World Cup (26%), ASCAR (25%), World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE; 22%) and the US Open (21%) among people who would consider purchasing Bud Light.

Who are UFC fans and Bud Light drinkers as consumers?

YouGov data also provides a glimpse into UFC fans and Bud Light drinkers’ consumer attitudes across a diverse range of topics.

Each category offers insight into the behaviors and preferences of US consumers who would consider buying Bud Light and are also fans of UFC (who we’ll refer to as UFC/Bud Light fans) and sheds light into the group’s receptiveness to various forms of marketing.

We'll also provide context to the data by comparing the group’s responses against consumers who are considering Bud Light regardless of their UFC interest. Let’s explore these attitudes further.

Media consumption

  • UFC/Bud Light fans show a stronger inclination towards discovering new music content when compared to Bud Light’s general consumers (81% vs. 54%).
  • This group also prefers to watch television programs live (79% vs. 55%) and show greater enjoyment watching ads on TV (58% vs. 36%).
  • They are also more likely to say they play games on social media compared to Bud Light’s general consumers (57% vs. 39%).

Advertising attitudes

  • UFC/Bud Light fans expect discounts from sponsors of their favorite sports, indicating engagement at a more transactional level (65% vs. 35%). Bud Light as the UFC’s returning sponsor could leverage special offers or discounts to further connect with this audience.
  • Word of mouth can be a powerful marketing tool and this group can amplify the impact of Bud Light’s presence in UFC events. More than two-thirds (66%) say they often talk with friends and family about things advertised on posters and billboards.
  • UFC/Bud Light fans are also paying attention to sports partnerships. 64% say they take notice of who sponsors the sporting events they watch and over half (58%) say they will buy a brand’s products if it sponsors their team.

Political ideas

  • 89% of UFC/Bud Light fans say they try to support American businesses, representing a significant opportunity for Bud Light to highlight its history as an American-made beer.
  • There’s a strong sense pride in ethnic representation and cultural identity among UFC/Bud Light fans, suggesting both Bud Light and UFC should consider cultural sensitivity and inclusivity in their marketing campaigns together.
  • 33% of UFC/Bud Light fans agree President Obama is the worst President in US history. While the viewpoint is polarizing, it’s a signal for Bud Light to navigate political sentiments carefully, especially after fallout of the Dylan Mulvaney controversy from earlier this year.