McDonald’s will not be a sponsor any longer of the Olympic Games.
The burger chain will end its affiliation of decades with the Olympic Games, cutting a deal shorts that it has in place that was set to run through at least 2020.
McDonald’s has worked since 1968 with the Olympic Games when it used to deliver its burgers to the athletes that compete in the Grenoble, France Winter Games.
The Golden Arches then became a U.S. Olympic Committee official sponsor in 1976 and ever since has been linked to the Olympics.
McDonald’s stamped the Olympic rings on soda cups and ran familiar ads promoting the U.S. Olympic team.
Back in 1984, McDonald’s featured a promotion it called, “When the U.S. Wins, You Win.” For that promotion, anytime an athlete from the U.S. won any medal, Americans received food.
The deal became so popular and athletes from the U.S. so successful that some McDonald’s reportedly would run out of their Big Macs.
The International Olympic Committee announced that the decision was a mutual one for parting ways.
The split will take effect immediately with just one exception: McDonald’s will remain the sponsor for the Winter Olympics of 2018 in South Korea.
McDonald’s will have restaurants in the Olympic Village and Olympic Park and is able to advertise across South Korea as an official Olympic sponsor.
However, McDonald’s advertising that is Olympic-themed in the U.S. ends immediately.
Former IOC marketing director Michael Payne said he looks at this split as being a logical one. McDonald’s, said Payne has been partnered with the Olympics a very long time which can become very expensive.
It also, he added reached the point where the burger chain was becoming difficult to manage as it looked at itself as being the owner of the food category, which makes most believe it was not just McDonald’s deciding to walk away.
The former marketing director at the IOC said that the end early ending of this contract was odd, especially in the case of McDonald’s due to it being such a big, important Olympic sponsor for such a long time.
At the Rio Olympic Games which were the most recent played, McDonald’s sent over 100 children to Rio to take part in the Games’ opening ceremony.
However, with the company undergoing changes recently with a new CEO taking over in 2015, change was imminent and bound to happen says most observers.