Big Mac attack: McDonald’s to become the Grand Fromage in French football

FILE - A French and a European flags are reflected in the shop window of a McDonald's restaurant in Lille, northern France, Thursday, June 16, 2022 . McDonald’s will become the title sponsor of the French soccer league from July for the next three seasons, the league said on Thursday, March 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler, File)

FILE – A French and a European flags are reflected in the shop window of a McDonald’s restaurant in Lille, northern France, Thursday, June 16, 2022 . McDonald’s will become the title sponsor of the French soccer league from July for the next three seasons, the league said on Thursday, March 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler, File)

The crème de la crème of French soccer will become sponsored by fast-food big cheese.

McDonald’s signed on to be the title sponsor of the French top-flight from July for the next three seasons.

“This partnership marks the coming together of two major institutions that are deeply rooted in the daily lives and collective imagination of the French people,” the league said on Thursday.

McDonald’s will be succeeding Uber Eats as the title sponsor of Ligue 1. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

According to L’Equipe newspaper, which did not specify its sources, McDonald’s will pay 30 million euros per season ($33 million). The sports outlet said the food delivery service Uber Eats pays about 16 million euros ($17.5 million) per season.

“At a time when interest in Ligue 1 has never been as strong, with record crowds in the stadiums in particular, welcoming an international brand like McDonald’s to the home of French professional football sends out a very strong signal about the appeal of Ligue 1,” French league president Vincent Labrune said.

The new sponsorship is a welcomed boost for the league, which is expected to financially suffer from the departure of its biggest star — Kylian Mbappe — at the end of the season. The Paris Saint-Germain forward has announced he will leave PSG, with Real Madrid in pole position to recruit him.

The French league is in negotiations for the sale of television rights for 2024-29 and Mbappe’s moving away is likely to have negative consequences on the outcome of the financial talks.

Contrary to popular belief, McDonald’s is a people’s favorite in a nation whose gastronomic meals and table rituals have been inscribed in UNESCO’s cultural heritage.

The American fast-food chain, which started in France in 1979, has more than 1,500 restaurants across the country. It says 78,000 people work for the company in France.

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