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McDonald's Signs LeBron James to Partnership Deal

By George Thomas Published: January 28, 2010

McDonald's scored a slam dunk of its own Thursday.
The nation's top fast food chain signed LeBron James to a multiyear partnership that will put James in the chain's promotions and he will provide support for Ronald McDonald House, the company's private charity that aids ill children and their families.
James has already filmed one commercial for the chain - a remake of the 1993 commercial "The Showdown," which will feature him and the Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard.  In the original Larry Bird and Michael Jordan faced off in a game of H-O-R-S-E.  The remake is scheduled to air during the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.
Financial terms for the deal were not disclosed, but will include advertising for commercials, online and print ads.
The deal came together after years of flirting by Steve Stoute, founder of Translation Advertising, a New York advertising firm, James and Maverick Carter,  president of LRMR Sports Marketing.
For the two parties, it represents a win-win scenario as both can be viewed as being the best at what they do.
James is currently ranked second on Bloomberg BusinessWeek's list of most powerful athletes, topped only by golfer Tiger Woods.
However, it goes beyond that.  Both parties are extremely image conscious and protect those images.
“McDonald’s and I make a great team,” said James.  “We share many of the same core values, including a commitment to excellence and giving back to the community.  I am also excited about the opportunity to work with Ronald McDonald House Charities."
Beyond the commercial, James will lend a hand to the 2010 McDonald's All-American High School Basketball Games in Columbus.  Proceeds benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio.  James was the MVP of that very game in 2003.
McDonald's now joins a notable list of James corporate sponsors that also includes Coca-Cola, State Farm Insurance and Nike.
“LeBron is an All-Star, both on the court and in the community,” said Neil Golden, McDonald’s USA chief marketing officer. “We’re looking forward to working with LeBron to showcase our brand in surprising ways while also raising awareness of and support for Ronald McDonald House Charities.”

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