The Washington Times - July 2, 2009, 04:27PM

Remember the seemingly ubiquitous McDonald’s ads featuring the Dream Team in 1992? Or the one with Larry Bird and Michael Jordan playing H.O.R.S.E. for a Big Mac?

Well, now the NBA has to come up with some new ads featuring gorditas, chalupas and five-layer burritos.


Taco Bell has replaced McDonald’s as the official “quick service” restaurant of the NBA. (BTW, I love the more PC switch to “quick service” from “fast food.”)

The marketing partnership is a broad one that gives Taco Bell naming rights for the Skills Challenge at the 2010 All-Star Game and heavy exposure online and on television. Taco Bell will continue to have local sponsorships with 9 NBA teams.

This sponsorship deal is an expansion of the international partnership between the NBA and Taco Bell’s parent company, Yum! Brands. That partnership, which began in 2006 with KFC restaurants, has been activated in 16 countries around the world.

Taco Bell is not new to sports sponsorships, as it has been the official quick serve restaurant for Major League Baseball since 2004. The restaurant made headlines the last two seasons with it’s “Steal A Base, Steal A Taco,” promotion, giving away a free taco to everyone in America because a player stole a base during the MLB All-Star Game. This year, Taco Bell is sponsoring the Sunday festivities during All-Star Game weekend in St. Louis.

Here’s to hoping Taco Bell comes up with some memorable advertising moments with the NBA. For now, let’s reflect fondly on this fine blast from the past: