After TMZ released the video of UFC president Dana White slapping his wife, on New Year’s Eve while the White family was on vacation in Mexico, the MMA world waited for the UFC, Endeavor, ESPN, Disney and TBS to release statements on the matter.
The UFC was silent. The UFC’s owners at Endeavor did not make a statement. ESPN told Bloody Elbow to ask the UFC because they only handle “distribution” for the fight promotion. Disney, who owns ESPN, offered nothing. TBS, the broadcast home of White’s Power Slap League, didn’t make a statement. Nearly a month since TMZ published the video, those entities have remained silent.
On Saturday, January 21, the UFC presented its first pay-per-view card of the calendar year, UFC 283. Following that event, Bloody Elbow reached out to 50 different companies/brands who advertised during the event in some way.
There were several options for advertisers during the UFC 283 broadcast. They ranged from a spot in or around the octagon to commercial time on ESPN, ESPN+ and ABC. Of the 50 companies Bloody Elbow contacted, only three responded: Kia, Hershey (Payday) and FanDuel.
Kia: “We are monitoring the situation and as such have no updates to share at this time.”
Hershey: “We would like to assure you that our company’s goal is to place our advertising in programming of high quality. With this in mind, please be assured that we monitor programs closely, and that our agencies are sensitive to Hershey’s strict programming guidelines.”
FanDuel: “FanDuel has no comment in regards to Mr. White.”
The following brands did not comment:
Jimmy Johns, Stake, EasyPost, Universal (Knock at the Cabin), Vechain, Howler Head, Crypto.com, Manscaped, Monster Energy, telecall, Grupo Souza Lima, Raid – Shadow Legends, Hudson Shipping, Peacock, Ricola, Meta, Allstate, Draft Kings, Phillips, Dominos, Starbucks, BetRiver, Gatorade, Hilton, DoorDash, Marines, Buffalo Wild Wings, Popeyes, Hyundai, Capella.edu, Peloton, T Mobile, Home Depot, Pizza Hut, Discover, Playstation, Geico, Little Caesars, Safelite, Toyo Tires, Pepperidge Farms (Goldfish), Verbo, Burger King, Frog Tape, Xfinity, Kellogg’s and Marvel.
UFC 283 was the second event for the promotion in 2023. Bloody Elbow also reached out to the sponsors of the first UFC fight card of the new year, UFC Vegas 67. The sponsors we contacted after that event were limited to those that appeared on the octagon fight surface: Manscaped, Sweet Sweat / Sports Research, Draft Kings, Crypto.com, Universal, Toyo Tires, Vechain, Monster Energy and EasyPost. None of those sponsors responded to our request for comment.
White once said, “There’s one thing that you never bounce back from, and that’s putting your hands on a woman. Been that way in the UFC since we started here. You don’t bounce back from putting your hands on a woman.”
The UFC President wouldn’t even need to bounce back, as he never faced professional repercussions for his actions. Unless something unexpected happens, it appears everything will simply be business as usual for White, the UFC and Endeavor in 2023.