IOC and McDonald’s terminate partnership

Fast-food chain brings end to four decades of Olympic sponsorship.

IOC and McDonald’s terminate partnership

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and McDonald's have 'mutually agreed' to end their partnership.

The global fast-food chain will terminate its deal as a worldwide TOP sponsor of the Olympic movement with immediate effect. The financial terms of the separation were agreed by all parties, according to an official statement, but the details will remain confidential.

McDonald's will fulfil its role as a domestic sponsor of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, operating restaurants in the Olympic Park and athletes' village, but its branding and promotional rights will be restricted to South Korea.

The IOC has stated that it has 'no immediate plans' to seek a replacement for McDonald's in the restaurant category, and will consider its partnerships in that sector as part of a wider review of its Olympic marketing programmes.

"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.

"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. 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."

Silvia Lagnado, the global chief marketing officer at McDonald's, added: "“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. 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 organising committees, for all of their support over the years.”

McDonald's first became a sponsor of the Olympic Games in 1976. It most recently extended as part of the elite TOP programme, of which it was a longstanding member, in early 2012 in an agreement that was scheduled to 2020 and was believed to be worth a nine-figure sum.