OAK BROOK, Ill., Feb. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- McDonald's confirmed today NBA All-Star Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic has 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 Feb. 7. An excerpt from the commercial can be seen on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/McdonaldsAllAmerican.
The new commercial titled "Check This" will pit the NBA Eastern Conference rivals against each other in their own unique 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," said 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," said Howard. "I can't wait for the new commercial to debut on Super Bowl Sunday. The fans are going to love it."
"Although McDonald's officially brought Dwight on board as a spokesman three years ago, the loyalty of this relationship unofficially dates back 21 years," said Eric Goodwin, President, GSM. "Dwight's fondest memories are his first 'Happy Meal' and playing in the McDonald's All American Game. There isn't a more authentic partnership than this."
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.
McDonald's USA is the leading foodservice provider in the United States serving a variety of wholesome foods made from quality ingredients to more than 26 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald's 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by local business men and women. Customers can now log online at any of the 11,000 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald's U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit http://www.mcdonalds.com/, or follow us on Twitter (@McDonalds) and Facebook (Facebook.com/McDonalds) for updates on our business, promotions and products.
About Dwight Howard:
Dwight David Howard, II, an Atlanta, GA native was selected by the Orlando Magic with the first overall pick of the 2004 NBA Draft. Dwight became the first player in NBA history directly out of high school to start in all 82 games during his rookie season. He is a 4-time NBA All-Star, 2-time All-NBA First Team and a recipient of an Olympic Gold Medal as a member of team USA in the 2008 summer games. He captured the 2008 NBA Slam Dunk Championship entertaining fans with his famous Superman dunk. As the leading vote-getter in the 2009 NBA All-Star balloting program with 3,150,181 votes, Dwight became the first player in balloting history to crack the 3 million-vote ceiling. In March of 2009, Dwight past Wilt Chamberlain as the youngest player in the NBA to reach the 5000 rebound mark. He was named the 2009 NBA Defensive Player of the Year and led the Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals for the first time in 14 years. In 2004, the Dwight D. Howard Foundation was created to support youth programs in both the Central Florida and Atlanta, GA communities. For more information, visit http://www.dwighthoward.com/, Twitter @dwighthoward and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/dwighthoward.
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