McDonald’s ends 41-year Olympic sponsorship

The fast food giant has ended its deal with the IOC three years early, saying the decision is part of its “new global growth plan”.

olympics

McDonald’s has ended its 41-year sponsorship deal with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) three years early as part of a review of its marketing spend and a “new global growth plan”.

McDonald’s and the IOC claim the decision was mutual, but it would seem a shift in priorities at McDonald’s precipitated the change. McDonald’s global chief marketing officer Silvia Lagnado says while the company has been “proud to support the Olympic movement”, it was time for a rethink of its marketing strategy.

“As part of our global growth plan, we are reconsidering all aspects of our business and have made this decision in cooperation with the IOC to focus on different priorities,” explains Lagnado.

The move leaves the Olympics without an official food sponsor. The IOC says it has no immediate plans to appoint a direct replacement, with plans to “review the category in the broader context of existing Olympic marketing programmes”.

Olympic sponsors, particularly at the top level that McDonald’s previously occupied, do tend to change relatively regularly. Alibaba is the most recent addition to the roster, but others including AT&T and Budweiser have all departed recently.

It is, however, unusual for a deal to end early, and there will be speculation over how much it has cost McDonald’s to terminate the contract or whether the doping scandals that have dogged athletics over recent years played any role. Terms of the separation were not disclosed.

Hide Comments1 Show Comment
Comments
  • Jim Norris 21 Jun 2017 at 8:52 am

    I never understood the business logic of the link, what with the ‘supersize me’ scandal and the unhealthy lifestyle of the target audience. A bit like Lidl sponsoring Royal Ascot……….

  • Post a comment

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here