Sources: '17-18 NBA Season To Start Earlier Jim Brady Examines Remote Broadcasting Could Disney Really Let Go Of ESPN? V Foundation Starts New Fundraising Campaign Sources: NBA Likely To Start Season As Part Of CBA Kerr Admits To Using Marijuana For Pain Relief ESPN Green Lights Celtics-Lakers "30 For 30" Adam Schefter Signs Five-Year Extension With ESPN 76ers Postpone Game Due To Moisture On Court ESPN: Sub Losses Don't Include New Outlets
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).