ANALYSIS – Easily bought conservatives. In the aftermath of the brutal fallout from Bud Light’s woke transgender promotion fiasco with man-pretending-to-be-a-woman, ‘transgender influencer’ Dylan Mulvaney, the beer giant tried everything to woo back angry conservatives who have been successfully boycotting it.
Bud Light sales have crashed, dropping almost over 27% in a few short months.
In a panicked response, parent company Anheuser-Busch brought back the majestic Clydesdale horses, it also highlighted its events for, and donations to, veteran’s groups. It even made a commercial with football star Travis Kelce.
But nothing. Nada.
Videos and images of empty Bud Light venues went viral, as did shelves filled with untouched Bud Light cases being almost given away free. Bud Light kept crashing and Mexico’s Modelo beer passed it up as top-selling beer in America.
Along the way, Modelo became a sponsor of the UFC.
The only thing the American beer behemoth hasn’t done is apologize for its huge mistake. And Bud Light executives, apparently fearing a minority of leftist woke activists more than they fear losing hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars, stubbornly refuse to do that.
Bud Light even co-sponsored an LGBTQ+ Pride event in Arizona over the weekend.
Instead, Anheuser-Busch made a more than $100 million bet (“well into nine figures”), and essentially bought a powerful, Trump-supporting conservative personality to become its shill, and affiliated itself with one of the most conservative and masculine sports entertainment venues in the country.
The big conservative personality is UFC CEO Dana White, the organization is the UFC, promoter of mixed martial arts (MMA) fights. Both are being paid handsomely via a “multi-year marketing partnership” to promote Bud Light as the much-hated beer returns as the official beer of the sports juggernaut.
As part of Dana White’s new job promoting his sellout, he is doing the rounds of conservative media. As part of that ‘we aren’t woke’ spin tour, he went on the Sean Hannity show to repeatedly claim – unconvincingly to me – that the UFC, Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light “are very aligned when it comes to our core values.”
That is the talking point. You will hear it a lot.
Well, apparently that’s all it took for Hannity to embrace Bud Light’s faux return to the conservative fold. After a little mild, mostly symbolic, pushback, Hannity quickly folded and said he could give the unrepentant woke beer brand ‘one more chance.’
White also went on the The Charlie Kirk Show on October 26 to push back at conservative critics calling him a sellout. He said he admired the beer company’s core values, adding: “It’s this unbelievable, powerful, American-built business…”
When discussing the deal, conservative radio hosts Buck Sexton and Clay Travis (who I generally agree with and like) also sympathized with White and the UFC, meekly saying, ‘that’s a lot of money,’ and they might take it from Bud Light too.
One of the two also predicted that Bud Light’s huge bet with White and the UFC might pay off, and in a year the transgender boycott will be forgotten, seemingly trying to help make it so.
I hope they are all dead wrong, and their kowtowing to Bud Light just to please Dana White and his powerful organization will be condemned by conservatives. And there is evidence that a backlash against the UFC decision is now growing.
It has ignited a firestorm of criticism on Elon Musk’s social media platform X. Many fans have said they will now be boycotting the UFC and canceling their pay-per-view subscription because of the brand partnership.
As Newsweek reported:
“I’m canceling my subscription and never buying ANY PPV (pay-per-view) fights anymore until this sponsorship is gone. This is the worst business deal UFC has ever made EVER,” one angry fan wrote.
“How about you explain your pathetic Bud Light sponsorship!!?? What you doing rainbow uniforms next?? Canceling my UFC fight pass subscription,” said another.
“I just canceled my ESPN+ subscription. I used to buy every PPV but this is the last straw,” wrote another.
A fourth added: “Canceled my UFC fight pass subscription. Enjoy your Bud Light, hope it was worth it.”
But realize it’s not just Dana White and the UFC that are sellouts, it’s also conservative powerhouse commentators like Sean Hannity, and lesser ones like Buck and Clay who seem to be quickly and meekly surrendering to Bud Light and their new partners, the UFC.
Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of Great America News Desk.