McDonald's signs long-term Olympic sponsorship deal

LONDON - McDonald's has unveiled a long-term deal to sponsor four Olympic Games, the first time it has signed such a lengthy sponsorship in its history.

McDonald's will be the official restaurant of the Olympic Games and serve food to competitors, coaches and spectators at the events. It covers the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy; the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing; the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver; and the 2012 Olympic Games, which has not yet been awarded to a city.

The company has paid an undisclosed amount to become a part of The Olympic Partners programme. This means that it can use the Olympic rings in global marketing efforts and gives it exclusive sponsorship opportunities with the 201 national Olympic teams around the world.

Some might think that the link-up is ironic, given the fact that McDonald's has been one of the companies accused of contributing to the worldwide obesity epidemic. But the company's management do not see it that way.

Jim Cantalupo, chairman and chief executive officer of McDonald's, said: "Our renewal for the next four Olympic Games is a statement of support for the importance of the Olympics from a global leadership perspective and the benefit of physical activity and sports to a balanced, active lifestyle."

McDonald's is already a sponsor of this year's Olympics in Athens. It first began its sponsorship of the games during the 1976 Montreal event.

  • Microsoft has announced that it will sponsor Team GB at this year's Olympics, in a deal that will see the company provide the British Olympic Association with software and technology.

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