McDonald's announced that NBA All-Star Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic renewed a multi-year agreement with the company, extending a relationship that dates back to 2008. Although financial details of the contract will not be disclosed publicly, Howard's agreement includes support of several McDonald's programs, promotions, and other initiatives in coming months.
This month, Howard will back McDonald's sponsorship of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. Howard was a member of the 2008 gold-medal U.S. Olympic men's basketball team.
Howard and LeBron James, both McDonald's All Americans, will star in a remake of the iconic 1993 Super Bowl commercial "The Showdown," which is set to air just before Super Bowl XLIV kicks off on February 7.
The new commercial, titled "Check This," will pit the NBA Eastern Conference rivals against each other in their own take on the battle for a Big Mac and fries. The TV ad will also feature the reappearance of NBA legend Larry Bird. Joe Pytka, commercial director for McDonald's original 1993 Super Bowl spot, also filmed the latest remake.
"Dwight has been a champion for his team, his community, and McDonald's since we entered into a relationship with him in 2008," says Neil Golden, McDonald's USA chief marketing officer. "We are excited to bring Dwight and LeBron—two of the biggest names in basketball today—together for the remake of this iconic commercial, the first of many opportunities to come."
"I have tremendous respect for the McDonald's brand and I look forward to continuing my relationship with the company and expanding my involvement in their programs," Howard says. "I can't wait for the new commercial to debut on Super Bowl Sunday. The fans are going to love it."
In addition to marketing promotions, Howard will support the 2010 McDonald's All American High School Basketball Games in Columbus, Ohio, benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Central Ohio. In 2004, Howard earned McDonald's All American Game co-MVP and Player-of-the-Year honors in Oklahoma City. He has served on the McDonald's All American Advisory Council since 2008.