LeBron James Ends Business Deal with McDonald's, Endorses Pizza Chain

Dan Carson@@DrCarson73Trending Lead WriterOctober 8, 2015

Jun 7, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) looks on during the first quarter in game two of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. The Cavaliers defeated the Warriors 95-93. Mandatory Credit: Ky
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James and McDonald's were never going to work out. We figured that out a while ago.

Like any relationship, it had bumps—most notably the one where James said eating McDonald's was one of the unhealthy habits he kicked after a few fast and loose years in his early NBA career.

That didn't set a great tone for future business, and while it probably had no bearing on recent developments, it has become official that James and McDonald's are calling it off after five years of up-and-down dealings.

As ESPN.com's Darren Rovell noted, James decided not to pick up his endorsement option with McDonald's this fall. Instead, James announced Thursday he will be throwing his weight behind Blaze Pizza—a make-your-own pizza chain in which he became an investor in 2012.

James got in on the ground floor of Blaze Pizza (Rovell reported he owns more than 10 percent of the company), but most fans never knew about it because of his standing arrangement with McDonald's, which reportedly forbade James from associating his name or likeness with any other chain restaurants.

As for this brave new world of assembly-line pies, James sees a business model primed to take off.

Cleveland.com's Joe Vardon published an excerpt of a press release from Thursday featuring a statement from James on his new partnership with Blaze:

Blaze Pizza isn't your typical pizza chain. Their model is literally changing the future of the fast casual industry altogether. I initially invested in this company because I knew it was a special idea that offered something people would want. Now I'm excited to go all in with Blaze Pizza in this new role and continue to give people a whole new experience.

Ah, James and his side chain—together at last.

They couldn't be seen together in public for years, but now the french fry fetters are gone, and James and Blaze Pizza can embrace each other and make sweet, passionate commercials together, and no one can say a thing.

Enjoy your pizza, LeBron. And remember to tell people you eat it.


Dan is on Twitter. True love is the soul's recognition of its counterpoint in a #brand.

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