McDonald’s denies that if Chicago is not elected the host city of the 2016 Summer Games, the company would pull its sponsorship from the Olympics.
The company issued a statement following comments allegedly made by John Lewicki, McDonald’s senior director of alliance marketing, who said at a conference, “the international market is very important to us, but some of the cities they are picking are not. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that if it’s not Chicago we won’t renew, but if it is Chicago we probably will”. Chicago is competing against, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.
Under International Olympic Committee (IOC) rules its TOP (Olympic Partners Program) sponsors are barred from backing one candidate city over another.
According to insidethegames.com Lewicki’s comments could land Chicago in front of the IOC’s Ethics Commission.
Mary Dillon, McDonald’s global chief marketing officer, issued a statement saying, “we highly value all of the potential host cities for the 2016 Games. In fact, in every one of the competing bid cities we have a strong local McDonald’s presence”.
Insidethegames.com reports that McDonald’s chairman, Andrew McKenna, is co-chairman of fundraising for Chicago 2016. According to the website McDonald’s chief executive Jim Skinner has claimed that McKenna serves in that role as a private citizen and that McKenna is a non-executive chairman of McDonald’s.