Olympic Legends Team Up With McDonald's to Kick Off Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games
McDonald's chef, latest food news and fun competition featured the day before Opening Ceremonies
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Today at the McDonald's restaurant in the Olympic Main Media Center, McDonald's officially launched its global activities for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Olympic gold medalists Cassie Campbell, Shawn Johnson, Picabo Street and Katarina Witt participated in a fun food competition as the Company provided a first look at an upcoming McDonald's menu item, Real Fruit Smoothies. As the only Official Restaurant of the Olympic Games feeding the athletes, McDonald's also shared details of sponsorship activities taking place in Vancouver and in markets around the world.
The Olympians, McDonald's President and Chief Operating Officer Don Thompson, McDonald's Canada President John Betts and McDonald's Director of Culinary Innovation Chef Dan Coudreaut were joined by representatives from the International Olympic Committee, Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and United States Olympic Committee to showcase McDonald's commitment to serving the world's best athletes quality food.
"McDonald's has been feeding the Olympic athletes for nearly two decades – athletes tell us they love our food and we've earned their trust," said Thompson. "We use the finest ingredients and insist on the highest standards from the farms of our trusted suppliers to our front counter – whether that counter is in a neighborhood McDonald's or in the Olympic Village."
Feeding the Athletes
Vancouver marks McDonald's eighth consecutive Games as the Official Restaurant. Over the years, McDonald's has served millions of meals to Olympic athletes, media and fans as a Worldwide Partner of the Olympic Movement.
Coudreaut, a five-star chef, graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, father and musician, works with a global network of top chefs and suppliers to create new McDonald's offerings for customers around the world. The latest product is McDonald's Real Fruit Smoothies in two flavors: Strawberry Banana and Wild Berry. The new Smoothies are debuting at the Games in McDonald's three Olympic restaurants and will be available in U.S. McDonald's restaurants this summer as part of the McCafe lineup. "Mini versions" of McDonald's customers' favorites, including Big Mac sandwiches, Chicken McNuggets and French Fries, were served today at the event to give media and guests a fresh look at McDonald's quality food.
"I've served McDonald's favorites to some outstanding people, from movie stars and famous musicians to my family, friends and neighbors. Feeding Olympic athletes in Vancouver is one of my top career highlights," said Coudreaut. "It's incredibly rewarding to know how much athletes want our food, whether it's basketball players making McDonald's their first stop in the Olympic Village or the world's fastest man enjoying our Chicken McNuggets before setting world records."
Olympic gold medalists - Canadian ice hockey team captain Cassie Campbell, U.S. gymnast Shawn Johnson and U.S. alpine skier Picabo Street were each teamed with a pair of McDonald's Champion Kids (MCK) to create their own smoothie flavors and earn McDonald's first "medals" of the Games. The McDonald's Champion Kids program debuted at the Beijing Games in 2008. It provides children ages 6-14 with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the Games first-hand.
The panel of competition judges included Olympic gold medalist and German figure skater Katarina Witt, McDonald's Canada and Latin America Group President Jose Armario and Sportscaster for the CTV Olympic Broadcast Consortium Louis Jean.
"Since working with Ronald McDonald House Charities in Germany, I have admired and appreciated the unique opportunities McDonald's provides," said Witt. "I'm happy to be part of this latest Olympic experience with McDonald's Champion Kids and plan to enjoy a McDonald's Snack Wrap while at these Winter Games."
McDonald's two new restaurants in the Olympic Villages in Vancouver and Whistler are feeding more than 10,000 athletes, coaches and officials, and the McDonald's restaurant in the Main Media Center feeds the nearly 3,000 media expected. These restaurants are open 24 hours a day and offer McCafe beverages and snacks. Chicken McNuggets, the favorite McDonald's menu item at the last Games, are featured on the McDonald's Olympic menu, served with a choice of dipping sauces, including a new Spicy Szechwan option. McDonald's Big Mac sandwich, Egg McMuffin, Fruit 'n Yogurt Parfait, and many other customer favorites also are available. For the first time at the Games, McDonald's is serving Snack Wraps created by Coudreaut and his culinary team, in addition to the new Real Fruit Smoothies.
McDonald's Olympic Games Activities
McDonald's Canada President John Betts was joined at today's media event by members of McDonald's Olympic Champion Crew, comprised of 300 top-performing restaurant employees from across Canada who are staffing the three McDonald's Olympic restaurants.
"McDonald's is proud to welcome the world to Vancouver and we're proud to celebrate the Games," Betts said. "We have our best serving the world's best athletes. Imagine going from serving your friends and neighbors in Montreal, to providing a Big Mac to a hockey star from Russia or a cappuccino to a German ice skater. Our employees are proud to be part of this Olympic experience."
At more than 1,400 restaurants across Canada, including more than 30 McDonald's restaurants in Vancouver and Whistler, customers can enjoy new limited-time menu offerings such as the S'mores Pie and the Creme Brulee Crunch McFlurry. For our youngest fans, Happy Meals feature fun, interactive toy replicas of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games mascots.
Around the globe, McDonald's has created special campaigns to share the Olympic spirit and excitement of the Games.
Customers in the U.S. are seeing some of their favorite winter athletes on packaging in the 14,000 McDonald's restaurants. Graham Watanabe (men's snowboard), Jennifer Rodriguez (women's speedskating), J.R. Celski (men's speedskating), Dustin Byfuglien (men's hockey), Patrick Deneen (men's skiing), Kelly Clark (women's snowboard), Angela Ruggiero (women's ice hockey) and Paralympian Sean Halsted (alpine skiing) are currently featured on cups and bags. The latest McDonald's USA promotion features Chicken McNuggets and a new, limited-time Sweet Chili dipping sauce, available starting February 12.
McDonald's in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway are offering special Chicken McNuggets promotions under a "Share the Gold" theme, which include television and in-restaurant advertising. In Russia, the iconic Big Mac sandwich is being featured in print and television advertisements in honor of the Games. The new commercial celebrates athletes coming together at a McDonald's restaurant following Olympic Games events.
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, which first began more than 40 years ago. 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 Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games marks McDonald's seventh Olympic Games as a Worldwide Partner and eighth as the Official Restaurant of the Olympic Games. McDonald's current sponsorship will continue through the London 2012 Olympic Summer Games.
McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) is the leading global foodservice retailer with more than 32,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries. Approximately 80 percent of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by franchisees. Please visit our Web site at www.aboutmcdonalds.com to learn more about the Company.
For more information and updates on McDonald's Olympic Games sponsorship, including the McDonald's Olympic Champion Crew, McDonald's Champion Kids, Ronald McDonald House Charities 2010 Olympic Games host country gift, environmental contributions and images from the McDonald's Ultimate Smoothie Challenge, please visit http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com/epk/2010OlympicWinterGames.
For video from today's media briefing visit www.thenewsmarket.com/McDonalds.
A video feed will also be available:
*For questions related to the video feed, please contact Globecast TOC at 310-845-3800
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11TH, 2010
4:00 – 4:15 PM EST (1:00 – 1:15 PST)
C-BAND Galaxy 19 / Transponder 13
AUDIO 6.2 & 6.8 / DOWNLINK 3960 (V)
Images will also be featured at www.gettyimages.com/mcdonalds.
The following trademarks used herein are owned by McDonald's Corporation and its affiliates; McDonald's, the Golden Arches Logo, McDonald's Champion Kids, Big Mac, Happy Meal, Snack Wrap, McCafe, Chicken McNuggets, Egg McMuffin, Ronald McDonald House Charities.
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