Taco Bell ousts McD as NBA sponsor

IRVINE Calif. Taco Bell has signed a four-year advertising deal to become the official quick-service restaurant of the National Basketball Association, replacing longtime sponsor McDonald’s Corp.

Taco Bell, based here, and the NBA announced the marketing agreement Thursday. The chain already sponsors nine NBA teams, and parent company Yum! Brands Inc. holds international NBA sponsorship rights for its KFC brand.

Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald’s had been the NBA’s official fast-food sponsor for the past 19 years.

The new deal gives Taco Bell rights for NBA-theme advertisements on television, online and in its nearly 5,600 restaurants nationwide.

“The NBA represents an incredible opportunity for Taco Bell, one that fits perfectly with our 'Think Outside the Bun' marketing strategy and whose fans are a natural fit with our core customer,” said Taco Bell’s chief marketing officer, David Ovens.

Taco Bell will be the title sponsor of the Skills Challenge competition during the NBA All-Star 2010. The night competition featuring top guards working against the clock to complete a series of basketball drills. Taco Bell also will give fans special opportunities to sample select menu items during marquee NBA events.

This partnership is an expansion of the current international relationship between the NBA and Yum that began in 2006 in Europe and has since grown to include NBA-theme activities in 16 countries and territories in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.

In addition to Taco Bell and KFC, Yum is parent to the Pizza Hut, Long John Silver's and A&W All American Food brands.

Contact Dina Berta at [email protected] [3].