Blog: Dean BestMcDonald's scores again with football deals - but who's cheering?

Dean Best | 10 November 2009

First, a disclaimer. I am well aware of the time and money spent on CSR projects by food manufacturers and retailers not just in the UK but also worldwide.

And it is just that those who draw up the most innovative and impactful programmes are recognised for their endeavours (see the UK Food and Drink Federation's annual Community Partnership Awards).

However, the cynic in me (humour me, I'm a journalist) cannot help but raise an eyebrow when companies like McDonald's get involved in grassroots and kids sport.

Yesterday, the purveyor of Big Macs and milkshakes (yes, they sell salads, too) signed a deal with the Football Association to support football in England.

"I am delighted we have secured McDonald’s support for another four years and am confident that the investment and focus on driving up standards in English grassroots football will have a positive impact on young players, the coaches, the parents and ultimately the national game as a whole," the FA's chief executive Ian Watmore remarked.

Over in Thailand, McDonald's is reportedly looking for a similar "positive impact" within the nation's football community.

According to The Guardian newspaper, Thailand's top footballers will receive free burgers as part of a three-year sponsorship deal. The mind boggles.

As for the England deal, there were those who grumbled at Wembley Stadium's new arch replacing the famous old Twin Towers and becoming a central emblem of the game in the country. But what of the golden arches?


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