ND-UT Put College Football On Sunday Night ABC ESPN's McEnroe Halts Working With Raonic LeBron "Would Love" To Own NBA Franchise ESPN Public Editor Examines Body Issue New Orleans Officially Hosting '17 NBA ASG Athletes Seeking Pay For Image Use Lose In Court NBA Teams Talking Jersey Deal With Emirates Pacers Unveil Plans For Luxury Entertainment Area Sportradar, Second Spectrum Close To NBA Deal? ESPN, USTA Resolve FanVision Dispute
SBD/Issue 82/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing
Not Lovin' It: McDonald's Lets Deal With Kobe Expire
Published January 19, 2004
McDonald's three-year endorsement deal with Lakers G Kobe Bryant expired December 31 and will not be immediately renewed, according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com. McDonald's Dir of Sports Marketing John Lewicki said McDonald's will "maintain an open dialogue with him in the future." Rovell noted that McDonald's is the second company to let its relationship with Bryant expire since he was accused of sexual assault last summer. Ferrero USA, which signed Bryant through January '04 to endorse its hazelnut spread Nutella, announced in August that it would not renew Bryant's deal. Sports & Sponsorships President Scott Becher: "The last thing McDonald's needs is to have to wrestle with all the questions out there while maintaining their relationship with Kobe. If they had any interest in keeping the relationship alive, they wouldn't let him go like that." Rovell noted that McDonald's is an official sponsor of the NBA (ESPN.com, 1/16). 16W Marketing co-Founder Steve Rosner: "McDonald's basically had no choice. Being associated with Kobe at this time is not a benefit to the company" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 1/17).