Chicago Sun-Times
Lewis Lazare follows Chicago media and marketing news

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Informed sources say the NBA has a new lead quick service restaurant sponsor -- Taco Bell, replacing Oak Brook-based McDonald's, which had been an NBA sponsor for some 20 years. Taco Bell is a unit of the world's largest restaurant company, Louisville-based Yum! Brands. An official announcement of the newly-inked sponsorship deal is expected within the next couple of days.

Sources say the NBA's switch in principal quick service restaurant sponsors evolved from a developing relationship with Yum! that began in 2006. The NBA has been working internationally with another Yum! unit, KFC. The new sponsorship affiliation with the NBA will yield Taco Bell a number of high-profile opportunities to tout the Mexican fast food chain to a large basketball audience.

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Lewis Lazare has written the Media Mix column for the Chicago Sun-Times for the past seven and a half years.

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