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

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 // PRNewswire // -- 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 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 to learn more about the Company.

To view today's Webcast and learn more about McDonald's Olympic Sponsorship
Programs go to or visit the
McDonald's Olympic Resource Center at



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