OAK BROOK, Ill., Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Today via a live Webcast, McDonald's unveiled new, compelling advertising, athlete-themed packaging and the latest news on its signature programs for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
Mary Dillon, McDonald's Global Chief Marketing Officer, John Betts, McDonald's Canada President, and Olympians Shawn Johnson (U.S. gold medal gymnast) and Patrick Chan (Canadian men's figure skating champion and world silver medalist) shared details of how McDonald's programs will enhance the Olympic experience for fans around the world during the Games this February.
"Athletes continue to tell us they love our quality food when training or celebrating wins at the Games, and it's one of the reasons we're proud to be the only brand serving them as the Official Restaurant of the Olympic Games," said Dillon. "We're thrilled our food can play a special role in their lives and for our more than 58 million customers every day around the world."
"In addition to feeding the athletes, there is something for everyone to celebrate the Games at our 1,400 McDonald's restaurants across Canada," said Betts. "We want our customers to know McDonald's is their Olympic Games headquarters and we look forward to welcoming the world to celebrate with us."
Feeding the Athletes
McDonald's is building two new restaurants in the Olympic Villages in Vancouver and Whistler to feed the more than 10,000 athletes, coaches and officials expected at the Games, and one in the Main Media Center in Vancouver for the nearly 3,000 media expected. These restaurants, open 24 hours a day, will feature McCafe beverages and snacks.
At all 1,400 restaurants across Canada, including the 30-plus McDonald's restaurants in the Vancouver and Whistler areas, customers can enjoy new limited-time menu offerings such as the S'mores Pie and the Creme Brulee Crunch McFlurry. Happy Meals will feature fun, interactive toys of the 2010 Winter Games mascots.
Countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway are offering special Chicken McNugget promotions under a "Share the Gold" theme. McDonald's USA's efforts will center around a promotion for Chicken McNuggets and a new limited time sauce.
McDonald's Advertising and Packaging
McDonald's markets around the globe created special campaigns that are relevant to their customers to share the fun and excitement of the Games. McDonald's Canada will air six new television commercials (three of which were shown on today's Webcast). In-restaurant advertising will feature McDonald's food favorites and Canadian Olympic athletes Cassie Campbell (women's ice hockey), snowboarders Brad Martin and Crispin Lispcomb, and Alexandre Bilodeau (freestyle skiing).
Customers will see some of their favorite winter athletes on McDonald's packaging at 15,000 restaurants across the U.S. 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) will be featured on cups and bags starting February 1. Celski and Halsted also star in the new McDonald's USA Olympic television spot highlighted during the Webcast.
Curling and ski jumping fans in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway can look forward to viewing the latest Chicken McNuggets television commercials, which include a fun twist on Olympic Games competitions. In Russia, the iconic Big Mac sandwich will be featured in print and television advertisements. The new commercial celebrates athletes coming together at a McDonald's restaurant following Olympic Games events.
McDonald's Champion Kids
McDonald's Champion Kids program debuted at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Summer Games, where children aged 6-14 from around the world received a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the Games first-hand. For Vancouver, McDonald's Champion Kids from across Canada will be joined by kids from countries, such as the U.S., Germany, Ukraine and England to attend Olympic Winter Games events, meet athletes, visit the Olympic Village, tour cultural sites and receive their own gold medals from Olympic champions.*
The children also will serve as special youth correspondents to share their experiences with their hometown news outlets. They will be well-guided by an experienced Canadian young journalist and blogger, Max Newton from Vancouver. He was a McDonald's Champion Kid for the Beijing Games and will return for the 2010 Winter Games as a program ambassador.
Kids from Canada were chosen by a committee that included two-time Olympic gold medalist and former women's ice hockey captain Cassie Campbell. Two-time Olympic silver medalist diver Alexandre Despatie joined Campbell in the judging process for Quebec. The selection was based on their commitment to fitness, leading an active lifestyle, leadership skills and participation in extracurricular activities.
During the Webcast, McDonald's USA announced the ten children who will represent the U.S. as McDonald's Champion Kids**. As an ambassador for the U.S. program, Olympian Shawn Johnson joined other athletes to judge essay entries to select the winners through an online contest. The kids wrote about the Olympic Values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect. Johnson shared the good news in person with some of the lucky kids who won from across the United States.
"I was inspired by the kids' creativity and the effort they put into their essays. It was incredible to tell the winners they were heading to the Games," Johnson said. "The Olympic Games changed my life and I'm excited to watch the Games impact the lives of the 2010 McDonald's Champion Kids."
McDonald's Olympic Champion Crew
The McDonald's Olympic Winter Games venue restaurants will be staffed by McDonald's Olympic Champion Crew, comprised of 300 top-performing restaurant employees from across Canada. They will serve a menu of favorites to the world's best athletes, coaches, officials and media during the Games.
Ronald McDonald House Charities
As part of McDonald's Olympic Games tradition of giving back to the host country, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Canada, in cooperation with the province of British Columbia, the Rick Hansen Foundation and 2010 Legacies Now, is helping to fund three world-class accessible playgrounds located in Vancouver, Richmond and Whistler. These state-of-the-art playgrounds will meet the needs of children with disabilities and enable these children to play side by side with their siblings, families and friends.
The charity was awarded the Vancouver Organizing Committee's 2010 Sustainability Star for the Legacy playgrounds initiative.
McDonald's is supporting the efforts to make the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games the first-ever carbon neutral Games by joining their voluntary Carbon Partner program to help offset indirect carbon emissions. Also, McDonald's three new Olympic Games venue restaurants will be fitted with energy-efficient lighting and equipment. The equipment from these restaurants will be reused and recycled at McDonald's restaurants in Canada after the Winter Games have ended.
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 2012 Summer Games in London.
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 TOP Olympic Games sponsorship, please visit http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com/epk/2010OlympicWinterGames.
Media Contacts -------------- Suzanne Valliere, McDonald's firstname.lastname@example.org or 630-235-8128 Lisa McComb, McDonald's email@example.com or 630-623-3707 Emily Fullmer, GolinHarris firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-716-6688
*Information on the McDonald's Champion Kids from Canada can be found at http://www.mcdonalds.ca/olympics/en/
**For a complete listing of the U.S. McDonald's Champion Kids announced today, please visit http://www.mcdonaldschampionkids.com
The following trademarks used herein are owned by McDonald's Corporation and its affiliates; McDonald's, the Golden Arches Logo, McDonald's Champion Kids, S'mores Pie and Creme Brulee Crunch McFlurry, Happy Meal, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Big Mac, McCafe, Chicken McNuggets,.