McDonald's Serves Up Support For LGBTQ+ Athletes, Aspiring 'Marketers Of Color'


McDonald’s is doubling down on its support of safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community as the QSR chain works to increase the representation of people of color in the marketing industry.

The company ran two “No Judgements” commercials from the Walton Isaacson agency featuring players from the Varsity Gay League, a recreational sports league that represents more than 40,000 LGBTQ+ “and allied athletes” across the country.

The spots begin by showing on-field sports action and end with athletes gathering at a McDonald’s—which one player describes as “our happy place.”

And this week in Los Angeles, McDonald’s began an 11-week educational boot camp in partnership with the Marcus Graham Project with the goal of training and mentoring 13 aspiring “marketers of color.”



In announcing its partnership with the Marcus Graham Project, McDonald’s cited 2020 data from the American Association of Advertising Agencies indicating that Black professionals comprise just 5.8% percent of the total make-up of the marketing industry in the U.S.

Of those 5.8%, 68% are admin or entry-level while 43.5% are non-management professionals.

Among other things, the 13 aspiring “marketers of color” participating in the Marcus Graham Project’s iCR8 boot camp will receive training, mentorship and coaching from McDonald’s executives and its agency partners, along with the chance to interview for a select number of internships and entry-level roles with two of McDonald’s partner marketing and PR agencies.

Finally, on June 13, McDonald’s will partner with the LGBQ+ streaming media network Revry for the premiere of “Music Out Loud: Pride Edition,” which will celebrate queer music with trivia games, new music videos and celebrity interviews.

The chain’s expanded involvement with Revry marks the second year it has hosted a “virtual celebration” titled "House of Pride", which streamed last weekend.

This year’s “House of Pride Brought to You By McDonald’s USA" featured appearances by such LGBTQ+ stars as Rani KoHEnur from Queen of the Universe, radio host and DJ Hannah Rad, comedians Kia Barnes and Sampson McCormick and the star of “Legendary,” Isla Ebony.

“We’ve been working to partner with more diverse owned media and a big part of that is our expanded partnership with Revry to create fun and meaningful events that bring together the LGBTQ+ community,” Elizabeth Campbell, senior director of cultural engagement marketing, McDonald’s USA, said in a news release.


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