SBD/Issue 81/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

McDonald's Signs On As First Title Sponsor Of NFL's Pro Bowl

McDonald’s has signed on as the Pro Bowl’s “first title sponsor in a short-term deal the league hopes will lure the brand back to the gridiron, where it was last a partner in 1998,” according to Terry Lefton in this week’s SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The agreement marks the NFL’s “third restaurant deal this season, as it started the year with an IHOP tie, then had a deal with KFC.” The league “has been knocking on McDonald’s door for some time.” NFL CMO Mark Waller said the deal gives the QSR "a chance to see the NFL through a new revitalized platform and it gives them a chance to evaluate us for a longer term relationship.” Lefton notes State Farm “was presenting sponsor of the Pro Bowl for the past three years, but did not renew its deal with the league.” McDonald’s will have six spots during ESPN's broadcast of the game. The QSR also is “promoting the association in the Miami market, which is not coincidentally the headquarters of rival Burger King” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/11 issue).

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