McDonald’s has ended its decades-long sponsorship of the Olympic Games, becoming the latest US company to pull support.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Games organisers and McDonald’s have announced they had mutually agreed to end their sponsorship deal with immediate effect. The financial terms of the separation have been kept confidential.
The US fast food group’s deal as one of the IOC’s principal global sponsors was due to run until 2020 and typically generates $100m over each four-year Olympic cycle. McDonald’s has been an official Olympics sponsor since the Montreal games in 1976.
The restaurant chain becomes the latest US brand to abandon its Olympic sponsorship in the past two years, following Budweiser, Citi, Hilton and AT&T.
In response, the IOC has looked elsewhere for major sponsorship deals, particularly Asia. In January, it announced that Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba would sponsor the next six Olympics, in a deal expected to deliver at least $600m.
The IOC added that it had “no immediate plans” to find a direct replacement as a food sponsor of the games.
“As part of our global growth plan, we are reconsidering all aspects of our business and have made this decision in co-operation with the IOC to focus on different priorities,” said Silvia Lagnado, McDonald’s global chief Marketing officer.
“In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, we understand that McDonald’s is looking to focus on different business priorities,” said Timo Lumme, managing director of IOC television and marketing services.