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McDonald’s ends 41-year Olympics contract three years early

McDonald’s has withdrawn as a global sponsor of the Olympic Games, ending a 41-year sponsorship three years early. The American fast-food giant had been contracted through the 2020 Tokyo Games, but has opted to end its contract early. It will continue to support the 2018 PyeongChang Games, but on a domestic, not global, basis. Sponsors bring an estimated $1 billion to the table for the IOC every four years, and McDonald’s had been a global sponsor since 1976.

“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,” McDonald’s Global Chief Marketing Officer Silvia Lagnado said, per Reuters. McDonald’s is in the midst of a massive brand reorganization, reconfiguring strategy in favor of healthier options and in the face of strong competition.

The IOC has not indicated that it will have an immediate replacement. However, Sports Business Daily is reporting that Intel is preparing to sign a “nine-figure” deal to serve as a global sponsor for the Olympics beginning in 2018.

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