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Simon Hunt Partners With UFC’s Dana White On Howler Head Banana Bourbon

May 26, 2022

Industry veteran Simon Hunt, formerly chief executive of William Grant & Sons, has partnered with Dana White, president of mixed martial arts league UFC, on the Howler Head Banana Bourbon brand.

Howler Head, an 80-proof whiskey that sources its Bourbon from Green River Distilling in Owensboro, Kentucky, is blended with natural banana flavor. Retailing at $30 a bottle, it’s recommended as a shot, an accompaniment to beer or hard seltzer, or for use in cocktails. The brand is off to a fast start, reaching 55,000 9-liter cases in its first year, with pronounced growth across markets including California, Florida, Michigan, and New York as well as control states.

Howler Head has leveraged exposure as the official flavored whiskey partner of UFC to seed growth. The brand has amassed more than 142,000 followers on social media and is featured across UFC platforms during live event broadcasts and on social media channels, reaching nearly 198 million people globally. “With UFC’s global fanbase of nearly 700 million in more than 170 countries, this is just the beginning,” said White. Howler Head is a partnership between White, UFC, and Hunt’s new Catalyst Spirits company.

“Few brands come out of the gate with the consumer reach and loyal fanbase of 688 million people, so it is easy to understand why we were so interested in partnering with Dana and the team at UFC on Howler Head,” Hunt, CEO of Catalyst Spirits, told SND. “With the experienced team of Catalyst Spirits now working with them, we can effectively leverage all the opportunities that exist at pace, particularly positioning Howler Head as a digital-first brand, to rapidly grow this very special Bourbon across the extensive UFC markets globally.” Indeed, in addition to the U.S., Howler Head is now moving into the U.K. and Canada markets, which also boast large UFC audiences.

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