After 41 Years, McDonald's Makes a Change

It's ending Olympic sponsorship agreement
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2017 11:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – The year 2018 will mark the first time since 1976 that you won't see the McDonald's logo plastered across Olympic venues, reports USA Today. That's because McDonald's has negotiated an early end to its corporate sponsorship agreement with the International Olympic Committee, which was scheduled to run through the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Effective immediately, McDonald's is no longer one of the IOC's top sponsors, though it signed an eight-year sponsorship extension in 2012, per the AP. The company is believed to have paid about $25 million per year to call itself the Olympics food retail sponsor, reports Reuters.

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It's not cutting ties completely, however. Under the change announced Friday, McDonald's will keep domestic marketing rights in South Korea for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, per a release. It will also keep restaurants in the Olympic Park and Olympic Village in 2018. Last year, McDonald's announced it would review its Olympic sponsorship deal, citing a new advertising rule that allowed non-official sponsors to benefit. In a statement, the company says it will "focus on different priorities … as part of our global growth plan." The BBC notes Budweiser, Hilton, and AT&T have also ended Olympic partnerships recently. (Read more McDonald's stories.)

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