Two For Tuesday: Fast Food Chains And Sports Sponsorship

Since 1980, the worldwide population has gained a lot of weight: obesity rates have doubled globally, and 2.1 billion people are currently overweight or obese. Campaigns to overcome this epidemic are usually centered on encouraging people to eat healthy and participate in physical activity. Many of these campaigns, such as Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” program, employ professional athletes to help deliver the message of the importance of being active and eating well. However, consumers get the opposite message when they turn on the television to watch their favorite sports teams, as several professional and collegiate athletic associations are sponsored by fast food restaurants. So, on this Two for Tuesday, take a look at two fast food brands who might have little business sponsoring sports franchises.

 

NBA and Taco Bell

Since 2009, Taco Bell has sponsored the NBA. For the 2013-2014 season, the fast food brand focused on their digital and social media campaign, “Buzzer Beaters,” which highlighted last-second, game-winning shots; these clips were showcased on the Taco Bell-branded section of the NBA website. Taco Bell chose Buzzer Beaters as the campaign platform because the excitement of these moments aligned well with Taco Bell’s “Live Mas” brand positioning.

Taco Bell’s menu offerings are definitely an interpretation of what it means to “Live Mas,” but the fast food chain is really not a reflection of the active lifestyle associated with the NBA. Although they do offer salad options, their Fiesta Taco Salads range from 730 to 780 calories with around 37 grams of fat. One of the worst items on the menu is the Volcano Nachos, which has 970 calories (520 are from fat!) and 58 grams of fat.

 

Burger King and NCAA

In 2013, Burger King agreed to a multi-year deal to be the official quick-service restaurant partner of the NCAA. This deal allows Burger King to be a sponsor of all 89 college sports championships, including the March Madness Tournament. Burger King used the 2014 March Madness competition as the platform for their #WatchLikeAKing Campaign, giving some lucky fans with viewing experiences fit for a king by offering prizes such as free food and court-side seats.

While Burger King is following the trend of many fast food restaurants by offering a few healthier alternatives, a majority of their menu offerings do not fit in with a healthy lifestyle. For example, a Whopper sandwich with cheese is 730 calories with 44 grams of fat. While Burger King’s salad options are far healthier than Taco Bell’s, you can expect to consume between 450 to 680 calories on their salads with up to 1670 mg of sodium.

 

Cover Photo Source: Kzenon

Jenny is a Junior Executive at SJG. She earned her BA in Psychology and a minor in Educational Studies in 2014 from Colgate University. Outside the office, Jenny loves to travel (usually to Disney World), bake and watch copious amounts of TLC.