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BK said to be halting NFL sponsorship

MIAMI Burger King has decided not to renew its three-year sponsorship of the National Football League when it expires at the end of this season, according to media reports that a BK spokeswoman would neither confirm nor deny.

Burger King, which became the Official Quick Service Restaurant Sponsor of the NFL in 2005, was unhappy with the lack of local-promotion opportunities as part of the sponsorship, a story on reported.

The chain decided not to advertise during this year’s Super Bowl XLI, choosing instead to conduct a sweepstakes and bobble-head toy promotion called “BK Bobble Bowl.” It had advertised during the 2006 Super Bowl XL for the first time in 11 years.

Burger King spokeswoman Heather Krasnow said she could not confirm that the chain was actually ending the sponsorship. One online story reporting that she did confirm it was wrong, she added.

The announcement of Burger King’s decision to cut its ties to the NFL comes only days after the chain launched a touring interactive promotion called the “Burger King Have it Your Way NFL Challenge” in San Francisco, Baltimore and Jacksonville, Fla., for the rest of the regular season and at the wildcard, division and conference playoffs, before heading to Glendale, Ariz., for the Super Bowl game.

The NFL’s last quick-service restaurant partner was McDonald’s Corp., which ended the partnership in 1998.

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