McDonald’s and the International Olympics Committee (IOC) are Ending Their Long-running Partnership

“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 Chief Marketing Officer Silvia Lagnado. “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.”[1]

On behalf of IOC, Timo Lumme, Managing Director of IOC Television and Marketing Services, commented that they understood that “McDonald’s is looking to focus on different business priorities. For these reasons, we have mutually agreed with McDonald’s to part ways.”[1]

The McDonald’s has suddenly terminated its 40-plus year support of the Olympic Games: one of the oldest partnerships in sports, which began back in 1976.  In comparison, according to the IOC website, perhaps only two other companies have held longer sponsorship or partnership extended contracts with Olympics: Coca-Cola since 1928 and OMEGA Watches since 1932.

According to the Olympics website, the IOC’s TOP partners are: Alibaba, Atos, Bridgestone, Coca-Cola, Dow, GE, Omega, Panasonic, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, Toyota, Visa.

Additionally, Mr Lumme commented, as mentioned on the IOC press-release on the matter: “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. This strategy is exemplified by the recent announcement of long-term, ground-breaking agreements with new and existing global Partners… 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.”[1]

Furthermore, although as IOC mentioned that the partnership is to end with immediate effect, McDonald’s will still have marketing rights for Olympic Winter Games 2018 in the Republic of Korea. Those would include placing restaurants in the Olympic Park and Village.

Strategic Partnering Ltd, June 17 

1.As stated in the following Olympic Press Release – 16 June 17:  https://www.olympic.org/news/ioc-and-mcdonalds-mutually-agree-to-end-worldwide-top-partnership