Today is a sad day. CNN Money reports that the Olympic Committee’s long standing relationship with McDonalds is coming to an end, nearly three years earlier than originally expected.

Mcdonalds-OlympicsThe brand partnership of McDonalds and The Olympics seemed like a match made in heaven. The sponsorship between the fast-food giant and the world’s premier sporting event had been going strong since 1976! Many alive today can’t even remember a time before the two were partnered. They seemed to have grown synonymous with each other during their long run together.
But, I guess, like with all relationships, no matter how good, they eventually come to an end. McDonalds has cited the focus on its core business as well as rising Olympics sponsorship costs and declining TV ratings as the main reasons behind the early divorce. McDonald’s deal would have run through the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, and bowing out will likely to save it hundreds of million of dollars if it had continued into the next four-year Olympics cycle and beyond.
“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 has been trying to keep costs down as it invests in improving their food quality, service, and expanding online ordering to woo back U.S. diners after experiencing a decline in sales over the past decade. The company’s move also reflects a rising view among consumer brands that exclusive Olympics sponsorship deals do not offer the marketing impact they once did due to the rise of social media, online streaming and overall decline in TV ratings for the event. Some companies now find it is much cheaper to work directly with athletes or specific countries rather than the International Olympic Committee as a whole.
This is a sad, sad day. No more special McD’s promotions, advertising campaigns, cool marketing initiatives, or commercials during Olympic season. No more featuring the Olympic Rings logo on McD’s food bags and cups. It’s done. Over. It’s going to take a while to get used to this one… Maybe someday soon I will be able to get over it. But, for now, it just plain hurts. We all go through stages In the grieving process. At first I was in denial when I initially heard the news. I didn’t want to believe it. After it sunk in a little more, I felt myself just getting angry at the thought. Next came the bargaining. “Maybe they will find a way to work something out! There’s gotta be something that can be done to keep them together…”. Now, I’m in the depression stage. I don’t know how long this will last, but, acceptance is next and I’m ready for it! Hopefully it gets here sooner rather than later…
R.I.P. McDonalds + The Olympic Games. You were a beautiful couple. We will never forget you