Having just extended its sponsorship as a top-tier Olympics partner through 2020, McDonald's is rolling out its London 2012 marketing plan for the Games, including introducing a #mcolympics hashtag on Twitter to talk up its ongoing commitment to the IOC, which started with the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble.
According to the Burger Business blog, EVP-Global Chief Brand Officer Kevin Newell said McDonald’s will not conduct a global advertising campaign or menu promotion for the 2012 Olympics,
"but said individual countries may do so. McDonald’s is building four massive restaurants for the London Games venue, including a 9,843-square-foot, two-floor restaurant that will be the largest in its system. Newell said the menu would be the 'most diverse' that the chain has offered at an Olympics. It will include smoothies, wraps and some elements of its UK menu, including porridge. Happy Meals will be served as well. A global McDonald’s Champions of Play program will promote healthy eating and active play for kids."
The Champions of Play campaign, which launches this week, features five-time U.S. Olympic medalist swimmer (and mom) Dara Torres as global ambassador for the program.
“Olympic athletes are great role models for kids today, and their ability to motivate children and families to get active is unparalleled, Newell told Nation's Restaurant News. “McDonald’s looks forward to connecting kids with Olympic athletes and helping them see that no dream is beyond their reach.” Torres will be one of several athletes to interact with children on the Champions of Play website, where aspiring Olympians can receive encouragement from current athletes.
McDonald’s president and COO Don Thompson said other athletes including former brand ambassadors and McDonald’s employees like sprinter Carl Lewis and figure skater Katarina Witt also could participate with the Champions of Play website.
“The great thing about these athletes is that they don’t run in and run out; they spend a lot of time with our young people,” Thompson said. “They’re very special people, many of whom have interacted with our Ronald McDonald House Charities.”
At top: McDonald's President/COO Don Thompson and IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge sign the renewal contract, joined by US Youth Olympic Speed Skater Sarah Warren and Austrian Youth Olympic Luger Nina Prock.