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McDonald's® Celebrates Sydney 2000 Olympic Games with Customers Around the World

Official Restaurant Partner Brings Olympic Games to Families Everywhere Through Global Advertising, In-store Promotions and On-Line Activities

Sep 6, 2000

As the world's best athletes gather in Australia, McDonald's is heralding the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games with special restaurant promotions, advertising and activities for customers worldwide.

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"McDonald's is uniquely capable of connecting nearly 43 million people daily to the excitement of the Olympic Games through our 27,000 restaurants in 119 countries," said Jack Greenberg, Chairman and CEO, McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD). "Our goal is to share the unique Olympic experience with as many customers as possible through a combination of strong grassroots and global initiatives."

Global Advertising

McDonald's has created a new Olympic-themed print ad that can be customized by every country for maximum impact. The universal creative shows a relay runner "handing off" a box of McDonald's World Famous Fries™ to his teammate. The tagline reads, "McDonald's proudly serves the athletes of the Olympic Games. Pass it on."

Several McDonald's countries around the world are airing a TV commercial called "Olympic Hopefuls." This spot has become a long-standing McDonald's Olympic tradition since its creation in 1988. It portrays toddlers from around the world "in action" as young Olympic Hopefuls. Examples include a child throwing his dinner plate off his highchair... depicted as a future discus athlete, and a young boy wrestling his teddy bear... depicted as a future sumo wrestler. Many McDonald's countries are also producing original creative to support their local Olympic-themed promotions.

In addition to paid advertising, McDonald's is sponsoring the closed- captioning of the Olympic Games for NBC TV in the U.S. This includes broadcasts of the opening and closing ceremonies as well as prime time viewing hours.

Worldwide Promotions

"Most consumers will not have the opportunity to travel to Sydney to witness the Games first-hand," said Dean Barrett, Vice President of McDonald's Global Marketing. "We are bringing the fun and excitement directly to them by offering a variety of global restaurant programs focusing on the Olympic experience."

"Five Weeks, Five Continents, Five Burgers" is a European McDonald's restaurant promotion that reinforces the connection to the five rings of the Olympics and gives customers the opportunity to experience tastes from around the world. Sandwiches include: McAmerica™ a combination of two hamburger patties, cheese, onions, lettuce and bacon with bacon sauce; McAustralia™ featuring chicken with bacon, tomatoes and special sandwich sauce; McEurope™ with pork, cucumber, lettuce, onions and garlic sauce; McAsia™ featuring the McRib with curry-ketchup, lettuce, onions and sandwich sauce; and McAfrica™ a combination of two hamburger patties, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and harissa sauce on a pita-like bun. In England, customers can order McAussie Chicken™ and Bondi BBQ™ sandwiched and boomerang-shaped cheese strips.

Olympic-themed Happy Meal® programs are being offered in many McDonald's countries. The U.S. and Caribbean will feature an Olympic Barbie Happy Meal toy collection including Paralympic Becky in a wheelchair. In China, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan, McDonaldland characters Birdie and Grimace are depicted playing various Olympic sports. Australia's Happy Meal features the Olympic Mascots - Olly™, Syd™ and Millie™.

Several countries are implementing games-oriented in-store promotions. The U.S. is featuring McDonald's Taste Trials, a peel-and-win game offering a chance to win instant prizes such as $1 million, trips anywhere in the world, $50,000 scholarships, vehicles, and new menu items like the McSalad Shaker™ or Crispy Chicken™ sandwich. McDonald's Poland is featuring a six-week, Olympic-themed match-and-win game with prizes from Olympic Sponsors.

In virtually all McDonald's restaurants around the world, the Olympic Rings and special graphics appear on packaging and decor. Many McDonald's restaurants are offering Olympic pins and merchandise for purchase. At restaurants in Japan, for example, collector plates will be available. In Portugal, customers will find commemorative glassware.

McDonald's Salutes World Youth

McDonald's is highlighting its global Olympic sponsorship with a special program called McDonald's Olympic Achievers. Through this initiative, McDonald's restaurants in nearly 100 countries worked with their National Olympic Committees (NOCs) to select outstanding young men and women, ages 16 to 18, to participate in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Youth Camp, held concurrently with the Olympic Games. The Achievers have been chosen for their exceptional accomplishments in the areas of academics, sports, and community service. They will enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend Olympic events, cultural exchange and sightseeing throughout Australia.

A total of eleven hundred crew and managers will staff McDonald's seven Olympic venue restaurants. This includes 73 young people from McDonald's restaurants in 19 countries outside Australia. Each International Crew member was selected by his or her country in recognition for outstanding job performance and will serve athletes, coaches, officials and spectators in Sydney.

McDonald's Olympic Website

"Through our new Olympic-themed web pages on, we are providing another way for customers to experience the Olympic Games," said Barrett.

McDonald's kicked-off its series of live athlete Web Chats with NBA All-Star Grant Hill. On September 16, McDonald's will chat with nine-time gold medal winner, Carl Lewis. On September 24, consumers can look forward to chat with swimmer Amy Van Dyken, four-time Olympic gold medalist and former McDonald's crew. To participate, visitors go to and click on the Olympic link, followed by the Web Chat icon.

Beginning mid-September, McDonald's Olympic Achievers and International Crew will share their experience during the Olympic Games via "digital diaries" on McDonald's web site. On, visitors can click on McDonald's Olympic link, followed by the People Like You and Me icon to reach the Digital Diary section.

Feeding the World's Athletes

In what has become its newest Olympic tradition, the Golden Arches will once again serve a "familiar taste of home" by operating seven restaurants at Olympic venues in Sydney. This includes two restaurants serving athletes in the Olympic Village, two serving print and broadcast media, and three that will cater to the public in Sydney Olympic Park. McDonald's expects to serve nearly 1.5 million burgers from now through October 4, 2000. Athletes and officials in the two Village restaurants alone will account for an average of 13,000 sandwiches served each day. In addition, McDonald's will provide food service during the Paralympic Games from October 11-29.

McDonald's is the world's largest global foodservice retailer with more than 27,000 restaurants, serving nearly 43 million people each day in 119 countries. More than 80 percent of McDonald's restaurants around the world are owned and operated by independent, local businessmen and women.


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SOURCE: McDonald's Corporation

Contact: McDonald's Media Hotline, 61-133-623, or Carrie Pruyn,