US fast-food giant McDonald’s announced it has halted a long-standing commercial partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) three years early. In a joint announcement with the IOC on Friday, the fast-food chain explained that it’s part of an overall re-evaluation of itself, reports Xinhua news agency. “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.
McDonald’s became an Olympic sponsor since 1976 and it contributes more than $1 billion in every four-year cycle for the Games and had a contract running to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. McDonald’s became a top-tier partner in 1996 and has been an integral part of every Olympics since 1998. The company is also dropping its 40-year sponsorship of the US Olympic Committee.
Except McDonald’s, all current top-tier partnership agreements go to 2020 or beyond, with Bridgestone, Panasonic and Toyota signed through 2024, Alibaba through 2028, and watchmaker Omega until 2032, according to the IOC.