LeBron says goodbye to McDonald's for pizza biz

LeBron James leaves McDonald's for Blaze Pizza

Basketball star LeBron James is swapping french fries for pizza, CNBC has confirmed.

The Cleveland Cavaliers player is not renewing his endorsement deal with McDonald's and instead is going to be part of Blaze Pizza's marketing campaign.

In a statement, McDonald's wrote, "We have enjoyed watching LeBron James grow from a McDonald's All-American to a world-class champion and businessman. We greatly appreciate the exciting experiences and engagement he's provided McDonald's customers and his support of Ronald McDonald House Charities over the past several years. While the parties mutually decided to end the relationship, we wish him the best in his future endeavors."

Already a Blaze Pizza investor and franchisee in its Chicago and Miami locations, James is no stranger to the fast casual pizza chain, but Blaze said this new deal represents an expansion of its relationship with the NBA player.

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"Significantly expanding his role, this wide-ranging deal will see James directly involved in the brand's marketing activities through advertising, social media, in-store appearances and other company campaigns," according to a Blaze release.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. James' other endorsement partners include Nike, Beats by Dre and Coca-Cola.

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Blaze is one of several chains trying to get a slice of the fast-growing customizable pizza market as companies fight to become the "Chipotle of pizza" (including Chipotle itself).

In its third year of operation, Blaze said, it grew its systemwide sales to $70.3 million. Its other backers include Maria Shriver and Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner.

ESPN reported the news earlier Thursday.