They Are Lovin’ It: McDonald’s Most Expensive Celebrity Endorsements

While McDonald’s is already a popular brand around the globe, the fast-food chain ensures that the younger generation keeps coming by endorsing the most happening celebrities at the moment. Celebrity endorsements have become the easiest way for brands to reach their customers and increase their sales. This helps the companies keep in touch with the current trends and ensure steady growth in sales. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, these endorsements included paid promotions and action figures, but the early 2020s demands brands to collaborate on merchandise and meals.

From singers, actors, and rappers to athletes and skateboarding legends, McDonald’s inculcated every band of the spectrum to give customers a unique experience at McDonald’s. These endorsements have created significant profits for the fast-food chain and kept them in the top position for years. Let’s take a look at the most notable celebrity endorsements by McDonald’s.

9 Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake was given the reins to head the ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ Campaign for McDonald’s in 2003. While the singer had a song out with the same name, the fast-food company decided to launch a jingle inspired by the song. As mentioned by Go Banking Rates, Timberlake was paid $6 million for the endorsement. Additionally, McDonald’s also sponsored his European tour.

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8 Kobe Bryant

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Late basketball legend Kobe Bryant took hold of McDonald’s promotions when he advertised a Big N’ Tasty for the fast-food chain. He advertised for McDonald’s from February 2010 to 2013. While the deal was cut short due to certain allegations against the athlete, he had a successful run on the television screen until then. Bryant was paid $10 million to endorse the brand, as noted by Bleacher Report.

7 Tony Hawk

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Tony Hawk is considered a pioneer in bringing skateboarding to mainstream media in the United States during the 1990s. This earned him several endorsement deals with Sony, Jeep, Mountain Dew, and McDonald’s. In the early 2000s, when the commercials aired, Hawk was making $6 million a year from his six different brand endorsements.

6 Lebron James

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Lebron James became a McDonald’s spokesperson in 2010 and supported various promotions and charity events for the fast-food chain. He was a part of several advertisements over four years before he ended the deal. According to INC, James earned $4 million a year for his advertisements and promotions for the chain.

5 Michael Jordan And Larry Bird

In one of the most popular commercials of the 90s, Michael Jordan and Larry Bird teamed up for a McDonald’s commercial during the Super Bowl XXVII that featured the legendary basketball players shooting hoops from extreme ends. During the early 90s, Jordan earned a $2 million deal from his commercials since he had already won three NBA Championships.

4 Heidi Klum

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Supermodel Heidi Klum starred in a McDonald’s advertisement in Germany, which was a sensation in 2004. She had signed a two-year contract with McDonald’s, and her commercials were in her native German language. Out of her $19 million a year overall salary, much of her portion came from the McDonald’s endorsement partnership.

3 Travis Scott

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McDonald’s was a crucial part of Travis Scott’s childhood, and when the opportunity was presented to create a Travis Scott Meal, the rapper took it. It was the first time in 30 years that the fast-food chain had collaborated on a meal with a celebrity. The Travis Scott Meal consisted of Fries, Sprite, and a Quarter Pounder. The meal was a hit, and McDonald’s even ran out of ingredients. Scott earned $20 million from his deal, with $15 million coming from the merchandise he sold, as stated by Business Insider.

2 J Balvin

J Balvin took Twitter to announce his collaboration with McDonald’s in October 2020, including promotions and the J Balvin meal. The meal consisted of Oreo McFlurry, Medium Fries With Ketchup, and a Big Mac. His merchandise was a big hit, although it sold under $15 million, compared to Travis Scott.


To the delight of the BTS Army across the globe, McDonald’s announced a BTS endorsed rollout in June 2021, which would also include exclusive merchandise in the color purple, which is the signature color of the band. It is reported that McDonald’s paid a whopping $8.98 million for the BTS meal while the band earned $2.69 million for the advertisements and $4.48 million in domestic endorsements.

Some of the other notable endorsements include Charles Barkley, Destiny’s Child, and Ken Jeong. While every celebrity has created unique advertisements, the message of enjoying a McDonald’s meal remains the same. As the newer collaborations have boosted sales for the fast-food chain, McDonald’s will have plans to make more endorsement deals in the future.

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Sources: Go Banking Rates, Bleacher Report, INC, Business Insider

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