LeBron James is leaving McDonald’s. Reported by CNBC October 8 LeBron is choosing not to renew his endorsement contract with McDonald’s, and instead is trading burgers for the hot pizza trend by joining Pasadena-based Blaze Pizza in their advertising campaign.
CNBC cited a statement that McDonald’s wrote about their split with James.
“We have enjoyed watching LeBron James grow from a McDonald’s All-American to a world-class champion and businessman. We greatly appreciate the exciting experiences and engagement he’s provided McDonald’s customers and his support of Ronald McDonald House Charities over the past several years. While the parties mutually decided to end the relationship, we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
With leaving McDonald’s, King James shouted out the exciting news of his partnering with Blaze Pizza on his Twitter on October 8 with exclamation marks.
Blaze Pizza answered Lebron’s tweet with a tweet of their own noting “Fire’d up you’re part of the Blaze Team!”
Fire'd up that you're part of the Blaze Team! https://t.co/pZGBh92pH2— Blaze Pizza (@BlazePizza) October 8, 2015
According to Darren Rovell’s report for ESPN.com LeBron James has been connected with Blaze since 2012 when he became an original investor in the parent company. LeBron joined with Levy Restaurants’ Larry Levy, and Maverick Carter, his business manager, to garner the franchise rights for Blaze Pizza in Miami and Chicago. With LeBron being a Blaze franchise partner he should have even more incentive to be the consummate spokesperson for the company. The hip young company is quickly catching on as consumers have been increasingly gobbling up more slices, making pizza a hot commodity in the fast food market. Perhaps this is the perfect time for LeBron to be leaving McDonald’s for something more in trend with his fans.
Rick Wetzel, the founder of Blaze, along with his wife, was quoted in ESPN in regards to the new spokesperson.
“LeBron came on as a founding investor, and he had been silent and in the background. Now we’re using him to get our message out there and put the spotlight on our brand.”
Blaze Pizza offers customized pizzas made to order for one price, with gluten free crust available as well. Where McDonald’s may have ruled the last century as the leader in the fast food market, Blaze Pizza is making its name known as one of the fastest-growing chains in this century. Their many locations have steadily been popping up across the U.S. with many more slated to come including at Walt Disney World. According to ESPN at current count the company has 88 restaurants open and will continue to steadily add business, opening a new location every four days. Franchise rights are held by 44 groups spreading throughout the United States.
Daily Finance reported in May, 2015, “The hottest trend in fast casual is no longer burritos, freshly baked sandwiches or even gourmet burgers. The key to fast growth in the otherwise stagnant restaurant industry is pizza.”
LeBron perhaps was ready for the move of leaving McDonald’s, looking for perhaps a trendier alternative. He was noted in February, 2015, for supposedly accidently making a negative remark regarding how McDonald’s was not the healthiest option to eat.
Reported in Cleveland.com James made the slightly-negative statement about McDonald’s after being asked how old he was when he starting taking weight lifting seriously.
“Umm, 24. I ate McDonald’s my first couple years in the NBA. I didn’t stretch. It didn’t matter. I was 18 and I could do whatever I wanted to.”
James attempted to recover from the McDonald’s faux pas, answering a question as to when he had last had McDonald’s to eat.
“Every day. Every day. Every day, I had it this morning. Egg and sausage McMuffin. All day.”
LeBron can now enjoy a pizza customized and fired up to his exact liking, perhaps trading in the egg and sausage McMuffin for a Link In sausage topped pizza fired up in a Blaze oven. Leaving McDonald’s should be a positive move allowing LeBron James to not have future worries about making statements about eating McDonald’s fast food choices.
[Feature image credit Jason Miller/ Getty Images]