Houston Rocket All-Star center Yao Ming is the new global spokesman for McDonald's, which let Kobe Bryant's contract expire after he was accused of rape.
Yao's multiyear sponsorship deal was announced Thursday at a McDonald's outlet inside the Los Angeles Convention Center. Yao is in town to play in Sunday's NBA All-Star game.
Bryant's three-year deal with the fast-food company expired Dec. 31. The Laker guard has lost other endorsement deals since being charged with sexual assault.
"We had a long, mutually beneficial partnership with Kobe," said Larry Light, McDonald's global chief marketing officer. "His contract expired, and we mutually determined under the circumstances it was best to not renew."