McDonald's 'Bringing People Together Like Never Before' for Beijing 2008 Olympic Games



    
    - More Than 200 McDonald's Champion Kids

    - Two Million Players for The Lost Ring

    - Olympic Athletes Tyson Gay, Alexandre Despatie and Edwin Moses

    - 1,400 McDonald's Olympic Champion Crew
    

    OAK BROOK, Ill., July 2 /CNW/ -- Calling McDonald's 2008 Olympic
Sponsorship "the most innovative ever" in a webcast today, Mary Dillon,
McDonald's Global Chief Marketing Officer, detailed the company's plans to
bring the Olympic Games to life for customers around the world.  As a proud
partner of the Games for 40 years, McDonald's has created unique programs for
Beijing, ranging from a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for kids to a
cutting-edge web-based Alternate Reality Game (ARG) featuring Olympic track
and field legend Edwin Moses.
    "In the spirit of the Olympic Games, we're bringing people together like
never before through innovative programs around the world," Dillon said.
    Dillon presented samples of television creative from across the globe,
including a global TV ad that captures the spirit of unity that the Olympic
Games represent and the role McDonald's plays in feeding the athletes as the
Official Restaurant of the Olympic Games. She also shared a Canadian TV
commercial that salutes parents of athletes.  Another ad from Australia
features the delights of a real McDonald's Champion Kid in being selected to
go to Beijing.
    The McDonald's Champion Kids(TM) program is part of the company's ongoing
commitment to children's well-being, engaging young people worldwide in
activities that focus on body, mind and spirit.
    -- More than 200 kids from 40 countries will travel to Beijing for an
exclusive opportunity to experience the Games, meet athletes, visit the
Olympic Village and see the wonders of China.
    -- Countries determined their participant selection process through a
combination of physical, mental and verbal skills activities.
    -- Many of the kids will also act as youth correspondents reporting their
stories and experiences back to their hometown media outlets.
    The Lost Ring, an ARG created by McDonald's in collaboration with
world-renowned game designer Jane McGonigal, interactive marketer AKQA and the
International Olympic Committee, speaks to the company's new approach to
engaging and connecting the world's youth culture.
    -- The Lost Ring represents the single-largest ARG ever played, with more
than two million participants working together online, in multiple languages,
spanning 100 countries and culminating in Beijing.
    -- Track and Field Olympic Gold Medalist, Edwin Moses, revealed his
identity as a blogger in The Lost Ring.
    -- In the spirit of community that the game represents, McDonald's will
make an additional $100,000 donation to Ronald McDonald House Charities(TM)
Earthquake Relief in China.
    Through the McDonald's Olympic Champion Crew program, a longstanding
McDonald's Olympic tradition, the company recognizes and rewards its top
restaurant employees.
    -- 1,400 of McDonald's best-of-the-best restaurant employees from around
the world will travel to Beijing to serve the world's best athletes and
thousands of others at McDonald's four new Olympic venue restaurants.
    -- To celebrate their skills and the shared Olympic ideals of teamwork
and excellence, McDonald's will host a Big Mac Building competition during its
press event in Beijing on August 7.  These McDonald's restaurant all-stars
will be competing to assemble the highest quality Big Mac sandwiches.
    -- The Olympic Champion Crew were invited to create a short video that
tells their own story and experience -- and expresses their Olympic spirit.
The top "Olympic Spirit of McDonald's" videos will be posted on mcdonalds.com
on July 7 and displayed online for four weeks where the public is invited to
vote for their favorites.
    Four new McDonald's Olympic venue restaurants will be open.  These
include one in the Olympic Village to serve the athletes, one in the Main
Press Center for the more than 30,000 media expected onsite, and two for
spectators on the Olympic Green.  Customers will find a variety of products,
from long-time favorites such as the Egg McMuffin(TM) and Big Mac(TM)
sandwiches and World Famous Fries(TM) to Premium Chicken offerings, salads,
Apple Pies and Corn Cups, a local Chinese favorite.
    McDonald's restaurants around the world will introduce new menu items in
celebration of the Olympic Games including a Beijing Burger, Caramel and
Banana Sundae, and Rice Sticks in Latin America, and the McFresh line in
Russia with Chicken and Fish sandwiches and a Shrimp Salad. In the U.S.,
McDonald's will promote its recently launched Southern Style Chicken with nine
Olympic and Paralympic athletes featured on packaging.  Australia's "Flavor of
the Games" promotion will feature five different burgers during the Games: The
American, The Euro, The African, The Asian and The Australian.
    
    McDonald's China Activities
    
    Phyllis Cheung, Chief Marketing Officer of McDonald's China, outlined the
host country's activities. She detailed restaurant promotions, alliances with
athletes and their Olympic television commercial focusing on teamwork and
excellence, a cheering contest for consumers, as well as local programs that
involve restaurant employees and customers throughout China. For the first
time ever, McDonald's China has partnered with CCTV, the largest television
network in China and official broadcaster of the 2008 Games, to create a
12-month program that follows the China McDonald's Champion Kids' journey up
to and through the Games.
    
    McDonald's Olympic Games History
    
    McDonald's became an Official Sponsor of the Olympic Games in 1976 and
has a long-standing commitment to the Olympic Movement.  At the 1968 Olympic
Winter Games, McDonald's airlifted hamburgers to U.S. athletes competing in
Grenoble, France, after they reported being homesick for McDonald's food.
Since then, the company has served its menu of choice and variety to millions
of athletes, coaches, their families and fans.  The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
mark McDonald's sixth Olympic Games as a Worldwide Partner and seventh as the
Official Restaurant of the Olympic Games.  McDonald's current sponsorship will
continue through the 2012 Games in London.
    
    About McDonald's
    
    McDonald's is the leading global foodservice retailer with more than
30,000 local restaurants in more than 100 countries.  More than 75 percent of
McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by franchisees and
affiliates.  Please visit our website at http://www.mcdonalds.com to learn
more about the Company.
    
    To view today's Webcast and learn more about McDonald's Olympic
Sponsorship
    Programs go to http://www.iian.ibeam.com/events/mcdo001/26993 or visit the
    McDonald's Olympic Resource Center at
http://www.mcdepk.com/2008OlympicGames
    

    
     CONTACTS:
     Suzanne Valliere, McDonald's
     630-623-7555
     suzanne.valliere@us.mcd.com
    

    
     Molly Lynch, GolinHarris
     515-450-8668
     mlynch@golinharris.com
    




For further information:

For further information: Suzanne Valliere of McDonald's,
+1-630-623-7555,  suzanne.valliere@us.mcd.com; or Molly Lynch of GolinHarris,
+1-515-450-8668,  mlynch@golinharris.com, for McDonald's Web Site:
http://www.mcdonalds.com

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