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'This was not about money': Dana White defends UFC-Bud Light partnership — says shared 'core values' are right up his alley
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'This was not about money': Dana White defends UFC-Bud Light partnership — says shared 'core values' are right up his alley

UFC President Dana White once again defended the his company's new partnership with Anheuser-Busch's Bud Light, saying the move had nothing to do with money but rather was based on alignment of his core values with a brand that invested in what the sports executive believes in.

The partnership was announced days earlier, with UFC parent company TKO Group Holdings and Anheuser-Busch detailing a new multiyear marketing deal.

"Effective January 1, 2024, the brewer will become the exclusive 'Official Beer Partner of UFC.' With this sponsorship, in the U.S., Bud Light will bring easy enjoyment to 21+ fans with 360-degree programming, including custom social and digital content, broadcast integration, on-site presence, and more," a press release stated.

White was asked to respond to criticism of the partnership, which predictably stemmed from Bud Light's standing among many Americans after a marketing disaster with gender activist Dylan Mulvaney resulted in the brand losing nearly $30 billion in market value in August 2023.

White responded to those who said he was selling out.

"When you talk about being a sellout, I had multiple deals in front of me. So it's not like 'oh Bud Light showed up and they were the only option I had to get money.' Do you know how f**king stupid that is?" White began.

"Everybody on every side of this deal that were involved ... absolutely, positively know that this was not about money for me," he continued.

"For Anheuser-Busch it was about values, core values for me. I'm at a point in my life and I'm at a point my career where nothing is just about money any more."

The mixed martial arts mogul also responded to a claim he heard that his statements during the partnership announcement sounded like they were written for him.

"Nobody writes me a script; nobody tells me what to say. ... Every quote is me ... everything that's posted on social media is me, and everything that comes out of this mouth is me. Nobody tells me what to say, and nobody tells me what to do, ever."

The press conference continued, with White listing what he said were some of the reasons he chose the partnership, including Bud Light's work with law enforcement, along with charity to the families of injured and deceased military veterans and first responders.

"Almost a billion dollars a year go to U.S. farmers for their crops, for their products; that is right up my alley, that's exactly who I am," White listed. "65,000 Americans are employed by Anheuser-Busch, and thousands of them are vets; right up my alley," he continued.

White added that he could "keep going on and on, forever" about the reasons behind the deal but insisted his core values were most integral to the agreement.

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