For more than four decades, McDonald’s paid top dollar to have its brand prominently displayed at the Olympics. Through its sponsorship of the global emblem of health and fitness, the burger giant sought to health-wash its brand and to lure children into becoming customers for life.
But parents, health professionals, sports lovers, and Corporate Accountability International members weren’t lovin’ it. Since 2012, the partnership had been met with broad and escalating resistance at each successive Olympic Games.
Finally, in June 2017, McDonald’s and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that they were ending their long-running sponsorship deal three years early.
While McDonald’s and the IOC artfully avoided any real explanation for the move, the end result isn’t up for debate. By no longer featuring McDonald’s sponsorship branding, the Olympics will be protecting the health of millions of children who idolize world-class athletes and look to them as role models.