Business & Tech

McDonald’s ends Olympic sponsorship deal three years early

US hamburger and fast food restaurant chain McDonald's announced it is ending its longtime sponsorship with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). McDonald's has been the official resturant for Olympic Games since 1996. EPA/CHRISTOPHER JUE

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Fast-food chain McDonald’s has ended its Olympic sponsorship deal three years early.

The International Olympic Committee says confidential financial terms of the immediate separation were agreed to.

IOC marketing director Timo Lumme says ‘‘we understand that McDonald’s is looking to focus on different business priorities.’’


McDonald’s was among 13 top-tier sponsors signed through the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and 2020 Tokyo Games.

Get Talking Points in your inbox:
An afternoon recap of the day’s most important business news, delivered weekdays.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

An Olympic sponsor since 1976, McDonald’s had signed an eight-year extension to run through 2020.

McDonald’s had exclusive rights in the ‘‘retail food services’’ sponsor category.

The IOC says it will review the sales categories rather than sign a direct replacement.

McDonald’s remains a national sponsor of the 2018 Olympics with domestic marketing rights in South Korea.