McDonald's Promotes Olympic Sponsorship with New Menu
Items, Kids’ Program
July 3, 2008
launching its biggest sponsorship to date around the
upcoming summer Olympic Games in Beijing, which includes
everything from new menu items, a kids’ program and a
global online game.
The company is supporting its sponsorship, in part, with
new products across the globe. They include a Beijing
Burger and Rice Sticks in Latin America and Chicken and
Fish sandwiches and a Shrimp Salad in Russia, among
other offerings. In Australia, local restaurants will
feature the “Flavor of the Games” promotion, which gives
customers five different burgers during the Games: The
American, The Euro, The African, The Asian and The
In the U.S., McDonald’s will promote its newly launched
Southern Style Chicken and feature nine Olympic and
Paralympic athletes on its cups and bags, which is now
rolling out. In addition to the packaging, TV spots and
online activities will support the effort.
In announcing the sponsorship details yesterday, Mary
Dillon, McDonald’s global chief marketing officer said
the activities are “bigger and better” than past
“We are bringing innovation to sponsorship and
connecting with customers in ways we have never done
before,” Dillon said.
For example, the fast food chain is kicking off its
McDonald’s Champion Kids program, where more than 200
children from 40 countries will visit Beijing to
experience the Games, see the Olympic Village see China
and meet athletes. Children were selected for the
program based on a selection process that included a
combination of physical, mental and verbal skills
activities. Attendees will also act as correspondents
and report stories and experiences to their hometowns.
“It’s a meaningful way to continue our longstanding
commitment to the well-being of children,” Dillon said.
Online, the company has launched a global alternate
reality game, called “The Lost Ring,” with interactive
marketer AKQA and the International Olympic Committee.
In it, players work online and offline to find 27
artifacts hidden all over the world and solve the
mystery. The game includes a newly unveiled blogger,
Track and Field Olympic Gold Medalist Edwin Moses.
More than 2 million people from 100 countries are
playing the game at www.TheLostRing.com. The effort will
end in Beijing at the Olympics, Dillon said.
On Aug. 2, McDonald’s will launch a new Web site in the
U.S. at www.FacetheGlory.com, where it will play up its
Southern Style Chicken Sandwich with Olympic newcomer
BMX athlete Donnie Robinson. The company is featuring
Robinson on the site to highlight the sport’s entrance
at the Games this year. On the site, visitors can
superimpose athletes’ pictures and send them virally on
to friends, Dillon said.
As it past sponsorships, McDonald’s is sending 1,400
employees to Beijing to serve athletes and at four new
Olympic venue restaurants. There, the Olympic Champion
Crew will participate in a Big Mac building exercise as
part of a media event on Aug. 7.
Employees also had the chance to create a short video
that that told their own story and experience, and
expressed their Olympic spirit using five words. The
videos will be posted on www.mcdonalds.com on July 7
where people can vote for their favorite.
McDonald’s has been an official sponsor of the Olympic
Games since 1976. The Beijing Games mark the company’s
sixth as a worldwide partner and its seventh as the
official restaurant of the Games. It’s sponsorship run
through the 2012 Games in London.
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