NBA Drops McDonald’s as Sponsor, Picks Up Taco Bell

The National Basketball Association has signed a four-year deal with Taco Bell, which will replace McDonald’s as the organization’s official fast food sponsor, according to sources.

The NBA is set to announce the deal as early as tomorrow. The multi-year partnership includes advertising rights across the NBA’s All Star Saturday Night Skills Challenge, held in February, as well as the Jam Session at its All-Star Game Fan Fest.

The partnership stemmed from the NBA’s existing relationship with another Yum! brand, KFC, on an international level, per a source. The golden arches had held sponsorship rights with the NBA since 1990.

Taco Bell will get advertising opportunities across NBA network partners like ABC and ESPN. Effective immediately, Taco Bell also becomes an associate partner of the NBA Draft.

Taco Bell spent $253 million on advertising in 2008, and $95 million through April of this year, excluding online, per Nielsen.