McDonald's, Olympics end partnership

by Erica Shaffer
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 McDonalds
The chain will continue to sponsor Winter Games in South Korea.
 
LAUSANNE, Switzerland – McDonald’s Corp. has ended its participation in the Olympics worldwide partnership program (TOP) three years early. Financial terms of the separation were not disclosed, but officials with the International Olympics Committee (IOC) said the terms were agreed to by all parties.

“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,” said McDonald’s Global CMO Silvia Lagnado in a statement. “We have been proud to support the Olympic Movement, and we thank our customers and staff, the spectators, athletes and officials, as well as the IOC and local Olympics Games organizing committees, for all of their support over the years.”

McDonald’s will continue to be a sponsor of the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, with domestic marketing rights in South Korea only, the IOC explained. McDonald’s also will provide restaurants in the Olympic Park and the Olympic Village. However, McDonald’s participation in the Worldwide TOP Partnership ends effective immediately. The IOC said there are no immediate plans to replace McDonald’s in the retail food operations segment of the Games, but the committee intends to review the category.

“The IOC’s sponsorship strategy is aimed at delivering long-term partnerships that help the Olympic Movement achieve the objectives set out in Olympic Agenda 2020, our strategic roadmap for the future,” Timo Lumme, managing director of IOC Television and Marketing Services, said in a statement. “This strategy is exemplified by the recent announcement of long-term, ground-breaking agreements with new and existing global Partners. In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, we understand that McDonald’s is looking to focus on different business priorities.

“For these reasons, we have mutually agreed with McDonald’s to part ways,” Lumme said. “I would like to thank our friends at McDonald’s on behalf of the IOC for the commitment the company has shown to the Olympic Movement over many decades.”

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