McDonald’s Corporation announced its renewal as a TOP (The Olympic Partner Program) Sponsor through the 2020 Olympic Games and pledged its commitment to champion generations of happy, active kids. On the eve of the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria, McDonald’s President and Chief Operating Officer Don Thompson and Executive Vice President and Global Chief Brand Officer Kevin Newell joined International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge to formally announce the renewal.
“As the Official Restaurant of the Olympic Games, we take tremendous pride in feeding the athletes and visitors from around the world, and are excited to play a role in helping make the Olympics possible,” said Thompson. “In keeping with McDonald’s ongoing commitment to children’s well-being, we will continue to communicate with kids about the importance of balanced eating and active lifestyles through our partnership with the Games.”
“We are delighted that McDonald’s is announcing its renewal, building on our work together for more than 35 years,” said Rogge. “McDonald’s provides a positive and inspirational connection to the Olympic spirit, sharing the Olympic values with its customers across the globe. We are very proud that McDonald’s is the Official Restaurant of the Games, and know that athletes and spectators hugely appreciate McDonald’s.”
McDonald’s long-standing support of sports initiatives for kids extends beyond the 17 days of the Games to include programs that promote physical activity at the local, national and global levels through partnerships with thousands of sporting associations. McDonald’s franchisees around the world support their local communities through grassroots sponsorships ranging from little league baseball teams in the U.S., to youth football (soccer) teams in the UK, to backing Olympic hopefuls in Canada and South Korea.
“As a TOP Sponsor, we challenge ourselves to keep raising our game and evolving our sponsorship through programs like McDonald’s Champions of Play,” said Newell. “Olympic athletes are great role models for kids today, and their ability to motivate children and families to get active is unparalleled. McDonald’s looks forward to connecting kids with Olympic athletes — and helping them see that no dream is beyond their reach.”
Dara Torres, a five-time U.S. Olympic swimmer and mom, serves as McDonald’s global ambassador for the Champions of Play program. In this role, Torres inspires kids and families to get engaged with physical activity through digital websites, appearances and other activities.
“As a customer and an athlete, I’ve personally benefitted from McDonald’s long history of supporting the Olympic Movement,” said Torres. “In my role as global ambassador for McDonald’s Champions of Play, I’m thrilled to join McDonald’s in supporting active play and balanced eating.”
- Official Restaurant: McDonald’s continues as the Official Restaurant on-site at the four Olympic Games that follow London 2012, including: Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, and the 2020 Olympic Games (to be announced in 2013).
- Youth Olympic Games: McDonald’s TOP sponsorship also includes support for the Youth Olympic Games that will be held in Nanjing in 2014; the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games; as well as the Youth Olympic Games in 2018 and 2020.
- McDonald’s Olympic Champion Crew: McDonald’s best-of-the-best restaurant employees and managers from across the globe will come together at the Games as McDonald’s Olympic Champion Crew to serve the world’s best athletes, as well as coaches, media and spectators at McDonald’s Olympic venue restaurants. At the London 2012 Games, McDonald’s will assemble the largest crew ever, with approximately 2,000 top performers from the UK and around the world.
- McDonald’s Champions of Play: McDonald’s is launching a new program around the globe that will bring kids together for a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Up to 200 children and their guardians will be selected to see the Games firsthand, and have the exclusive privilege of playing with athletes at the Olympic venues. Children will be recruited through grassroots programs that will roll out over the next few months leading up to the London Games. As part of the Champions of Play program, the majority of McDonald’s markets will showcase:
- A Champions of Play website featuring Olympic athletes which will inspire kids to get active, and track their physical activities online through a series of engaging challenges.
- Special Happy Meal packaging and in-restaurant materials, such as Champions of Play Playbooks and Fun Times Magazine, will include information and tips to encourage balanced eating and fun play.
Dr. Paul Gately, Carnegie Professor of Exercise and Obesity at Leeds Metropolitan University, is working closely with McDonald’s as a member of its Global Advisory Council to develop activities and challenges that will be featured on the website and help encourage and inspire kids to get active.
“McDonald’s is helping bring the Olympic spirit to life for kids through the imaginative challenges on the Champions of Play website,” said Dr. Gately. “These activities are being designed to get kids excited about fun play and educate them about the importance of being active.”