The true winner of UFC 132: Bud Light Lime

Posted: July 6, 2011 in Marketing, PR, Social Media, UFC

Another PPV comes and goes and another strong showing from the UFC.  The event showcased everything we come to expect, highlight real KOs/Submissions and audiences divided over judges’ decisions.  However, the true winner of this event was not a fighter, but a brand.  Despite Tito Ortiz pulling off his first win in 5 years, the biggest shock to me this card was the war of branding taking place inside the Octagon.

The big guns came out firing this month.  Dodge was repeatedly plugged as the official vehicle of the UFC and Edge shaving gel came out blazing with its “Team Edge” competition.  However, despite these national consumer brands the big stand out was Bud Light.  We knew that BL decided to expand its relationship with the UFC, and we’ve seen new promotions, ads and competitions spring up as part of this new engagement.  However,  UFC 132 was a marketing dream.  Bud Light used this summer PPV card as the platform to push its Bud Light with Lime product.  The center Octagon BL logo was green, cage post ads were green, they revealed commercials prior to the event (see above), had the ring girls (including the Hooters/Facebook contest winner) decked out in green and had Mike Goldberg plugging the product name in almost every bout.

This type of brand association is huge for both organizations.  Bud Light wants to get exposure of this product to a younger male audience and the UFC is obviously the place do that.  By having the UFC plaster this product everywhere they are hoping to remove the sexist “that drink is for girls” stigma.  (For female fight fans, just bare with me as I know you there for the sport in masses.)  For the UFC, this partnership is another reminder of how the MMA fan demographic is one that brands are taking more and more seriously and realize these programs are the place to do just that.

For fighters, take  note  – this wasn’t debuted during a heavyweight or light heavyweight title fight.   No.  These branding programs took place during Cruz v. Faber, a bantamweight title fight.  This showcases the UFCs dedication and faith in the newer, lighter weight classes that the fans will still tune in each month for the UFC brand, not just a particular division.

For fight fans, did seeing the BL Lime product make you want to try one?

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