McDonald's pulls out of Olympics sponsorship

  • 17/06/2017
McDonald's Sydney Olympics
McDonald's advertising at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Photo credit: Getty

US fast-food giant McDonald's has ended its 41-year association as sponsor with the International Olympic Committee, pulling out of its contract three years early.

The US company, a sponsor since 1976 and part of the IOC's top sponsors programme that contributes more than US$1 billion in every four-year cycle for the Games, had a contract running to 2020 and the Tokyo summer Olympics.

"In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, we understand that McDonald's is looking to focus on different business priorities," Timmo Lumme, Managing Director of IOC Television and Marketing Services, said in a statement on Friday.

"For these reasons, we have mutually agreed with McDonald's to part ways."

McDonald's global chief marketing officer Silvia Lagnado said in the IOC-issued statement: "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."

McDonald's, first involved with the Games in 1968, was its foods retail sponsor.

Despite pulling out with immediate effect, McDonald's will continue at next year's Pyeongchang winter Olympics as sponsors with domestic marketing rights.

The IOC said it was not planning a direct replacement in the food retail department.