Major UFC sponsor Anheuser-Busch threatens action over sexist, homophobic remarks. - MMA Forum - UFC Forums - UFC Results - MMA Videos
UFC The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is a U.S.-based mixed martial arts organization, recognized as the largest MMA promotion in the world. The UFC is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada and is owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC. This promotion is responsible for solidifying the sport's postion in the history-books. UFC is currently undergoing a remarkable surge in popularity, along with greater mainstream media coverage. UFC programming can now be seen on FOX, FX, and FUEL TV in the United States, as well as in 35 other countries worldwide.

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Old 04-26-2012, 11:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Major UFC sponsor Anheuser-Busch threatens action over sexist, homophobic remarks.

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The UFC's continued progression into being a "mainstream" sport has featured the acquisition of some bigger-named sponsors, perhaps the biggest of which has been Anheuser-Busch's "Bud Light" brand. However, that relationship has become strained due to a number of public incidents by UFC fighters, and the alcoholic-beverage giant has now threatened the UFC with action if things don't get cleaned up.

"We've communicated to the UFC our displeasure with certain remarks made by some of its fighters, and they have promised to address this," A-B said in a statement to AdAge.com. "If the incidents continue, we will act."

The "alpha-male" nature of combat sport has resulted in several of the UFC's athletes - as well as UFC President Dana White and UFC commentator Joe Rogan - making sexist or homophobic remarks to fellow fighters, reporters, and fans alike. Often it's been brushed aside as "that's how fighters are" or "it's hard to control every fighter," but that line of thinking may not be enough moving forward.

For their part, the UFC says they are making more of an effort to crack down on this issue, though they acknowledge their efforts in social media inherently contain some issues with policing these issues.

"With over 425 athletes on our roster, there have unfortunately been instances where a couple athletes have made insensitive or inappropriate comments," a statement from the UFC read. "We don't condone this behavior, and in no way is it reflective of the company or its values."

"Unlike most other sports leagues, we encourage our athletes to engage online. It is part of our company culture, and whenever you are at the forefront of a trend or initiative, it comes with its own pitfalls. We will continue to embrace social media while looking for better ways to stay in front of the issues. This includes a mandate for our athletes to attend sensitivity training and a seminar on proper use of social media."

Penick's Analysis: This could potentially be a very real problem for the UFC. Losing big-league sponsors over what they've tried to essentially sweep-aside in the past could cost them millions, and hurt their image further in areas where they continue to try to gain acceptance. A big issue on this front is that fighters likely feel they can get away with a lot more because White, as the president and outward face of the organization, doesn't have much of a filter when it comes to expressing his feelings on things. That example from the top trickles down, and though he's not slipped up on the level of his infamous rant against reporter Loretta Hunt in the last several years, the fact that the video and incident is widely known doesn't help him either. This is an issue that really does need to be addressed in-house; that may mean fines by the UFC are necessary much the same way that the other big-league sports treat these types of incidents. If they continue to let things slide without much more than a talking-to, they risk a regression in progress overall.
http://www.mmatorch.com/artman2/publ...le_13132.shtml

I'm sure the UFC could find someone to replace them but that still would be a huge blow losing a big name sponsor like that.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Losing this sponsor would be a major step back. Part of DW's hype that the UFC was going to rival football and basketball in the US was the fact that they were pulling as big of sponsors. And make no mistake, AB is a huge sponsor in the states (even though it is no longer owned by a US company). Having this sort of company sponsor you really opens you up to other large companies as they like safer bets. If they lose this it could be a massive setback.

I also feel the UFC is doing a fairly good job of handling it themselves, it is just so many people, especially high profile people, dislike MMA that they take any grain of salt and blow it out of proportion. I mean look at some of the stuff they use, Rampage back when he was in Pride! And he has since talked about how dumb that stuff was and how he regrets it.

The UFC needs to put out a message to all UFC fighters letting them know that anything like this from now on can and will get you cut or massively fined. I don't know what they will do if some huge name f's up, but they need to make a statement that sticks rather than soft gloving big names and ax chopping other fighters.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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All athletes make stupid remarks, it isn't only in the UFC, the difference is that if you do it in another sport, you get heavily fined. UFC needs to start fining fighters, but now the problem would be how much? thats difficult to agree upon without a union, especially with the fighters who are making significantly less than the top fighters.

The article also makes an interesting point, you can't ask fighters to watch their mouth, when the president of the company is doing interviews and dropping f bombs every minute. I understand that this isn't about f bombs, but over homophobic remarks, but you also can't have fighters swearing when you're trying to be a household name.

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Old 04-26-2012, 11:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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While I agree that Dana really needs to grow up and act more professional..

Bud Light is swill... They should get a beer sponsor that isn't awful.
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Old 04-26-2012, 03:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Wow a beer company offended...what the hell got said.
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Old 04-26-2012, 03:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I did'nt even know they were a sponsor. Shows how much I pay attention.

Im sure another company will jump on board.
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Old 04-26-2012, 03:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ASKREN4WIN View Post
I did'nt even know they were a sponsor. Shows how much I pay attention.

Im sure another company will jump on board.
You don't remember the outburst when Lesnar complained they wouldn't sponsor him so he was going to go drink Coors?
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Old 04-26-2012, 03:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I did'nt even know they were a sponsor. Shows how much I pay attention.

Im sure another company will jump on board.
AB is Bud Lite son....
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Old 04-26-2012, 03:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You don't remember the outburst when Lesnar complained they wouldn't sponsor him so he was going to go drink Coors?
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AB is Bud Lite son....
Ok ok. Sorry. Im not up on my beer knowledge. I dont drink much.

Maybe they should contact Miller.

Isnt Burger King a sponsor also? Because three of them in my area closed within the past year.
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Old 04-26-2012, 03:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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