Ligue 1 partners with McDonald's in new naming rights deal

The Golden Arches and Drive Thru logo of the fast food restaurant McDonald's at the Sedgemoor Services on the M5 motorway, on February 25, 2024 in Bristol, England. 

Ligue 1 has caused a stir with the announcement that McDonald's will be its new naming rights partner from next season until at least the end of the 2026/27 campaign.

It is not yet clear exactly what the league will be officially called, but McDonald's replaces another fast food brand as principal partner of the French top flight, known as Ligue 1 Uber Eats since 2020. The likeliest outcome is that it follows the same format and becomes 'Ligue 1 McDonald's'.

McDonald's has 1,560 locations across 1,150 towns and cities throughout France, with the football league (LFP) hoping the deal will help to develop the Ligue 1 brand both at home and overseas.

"At a time when enthusiasm for Ligue 1 has never been so strong, notably with record crowds in the stadiums, welcoming an international brand like McDonald's into the home of French professional football constitutes a very strong signal of the attractiveness of Ligue 1," was the message from LFP president Vincent Labrune.

"This major agreement marks the union between two popular and accessible worlds, and inseparable for many supporters. With McDonald's, our ambition is to offer numerous activations aimed at fans and all French people who are used to frequenting its restaurants. This new agreement also marks the end of a magnificent collaboration with Uber Eats as title sponsor of Ligue 1. I would like to particularly thank the management of Uber Eats France for their trust and support."

McDonald's has a longstanding presence in sport stretching back 40 years, particularly at grassroots level, and in France alone, 400 clubs are supported by a particular restaurant.

Ligue 1 first picked up a title sponsor in 2002 when the LFP rebranded it from Division 1. Telecoms provider Orange held the naming rights for the first six years until 2008, although it wasn't then until 2017 that another firm paid to have its name 'up in lights', so to speak. That was European home furnishings chain Conforama, title sponsor for three year to 2020.

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