Cody Rhodes Is Reportedly A Big Part Of WWE's Deal With New Sponsor

It was announced earlier this week that WWE had inked its first spirits sponsorship deal with Sazerac Brands' Wheatley Vodka. Wheatley will be the official vodka of WrestleMania 40. According to this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Cody Rhodes — who is set to challenge Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship for the second consecutive year at WrestleMania — is a "big part of the deal," and it's believed Wheatley could be personally sponsoring him. Additionally, the report mentions that the spirits brand will be sponsoring a new streaming series about "The American Nightmare." As part of that deal, Wheatley will be providing a branded tour bus during filming. And that's not all, as Wheatley will reportedly be sponsoring various other WWE events in the future.


Regarding Wheatley becoming the official vodka of WrestleMania 40, it's said that TKO Group Holdings — the parent company of WWE and UFC — is now entertaining "official sponsor" deals for WWE, much like UFC has done in the past. According to the announcement of the WWE-Wheatley deal earlier this week, the new WrestleMania agreement will involve "live-event brand integrations on both nights of WrestleMania 40, inclusion in the event's Kickoff Show, social/digital media executions, and a sweepstakes promo."

Moving forward, TKO EVP and Head of Global Partnerships, Grant Norris-Jones, indicated that the company is also looking for an official beer sponsor for WWE. Unlike a spirits sponsor, the Stamford, Connecticut-based promotion has previously had sponsorships from beer brands. Following UFC's partnership with CBD brand Love Hemp, the executive suggested WWE could also have a CBD partner in the future. Norris-Jones mentioned that the UFC-Love Hemp deal "helped prove they weren't risky."