Modelo inks multimillion-dollar ad deal with UFC

on Oct9

9 October 2017 | 2:38 pm

Ultimate Fighting Championship has struck a multiyear deal with Modelo Especial that will make the Mexican import the official beer and malt beverage of the world’s largest MMA company.

Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. had held that title since 2008 and its Bud Light logo had frequently stamped the center of the octagon for UFC’s biggest fights.

Modelo’s multimillion deal starts in 2018 and the partnership is only for United States events. Modelo’s branding and signage will adorn the UFC cage and the company promised to feature UFC athletes and personalities in advertising. The contract terms were not released.

“Modelo is an amazing brand that shares UFC’s unmatched commitment to its fan base,” UFC President Dana White said. “I love Modelo and we’re already talking about doing a lot of exciting things together.”

Modelo is the No. 2 import brand in the United States behind Corona.

Modelo has several team sponsorships, including with the Chicago White Sox and Golden State Warriors, and hoped a league-wide deal with UFC could aid in its growth.

“They want to get more into multicultural consumers,” said Jim Sabia, Modelo’s chief marketing officer. “We all benefit. They’re going to help take our brand into the general market consumer household.”

The Modelo family of beers are exclusively brewed, imported and marketed for the U.S. by Constellations Brands, the No. 3 beer company in the United States. Constellation’s beer division is based in Chicago.

Sabia said Modelo would be active inside arenas and work with UFC in promoting athletes. UFC sold for about $4 billion to a group led by Hollywood entertainment conglomerate WME-IMG in July 2016.

“That’s what we’re really excited about with Modelo, the way they’re going to activate around our brand,” Sabia said. “Activation is something that will be different, frankly, more robust than we’ve seen in the past.”

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