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Venus and Serena Williams Join the 'Go Active!™' Program as Part of Worldwide Partnership With McDonald's®

Jun 15, 2004

Just weeks before the Olympic flame is rekindled in Athens, McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) today announced the expansion of its relationship with international tennis sensations Venus and Serena Williams. As the company's newest global brand ambassadors, the Williams sisters have formed a partnership with McDonald's that includes their involvement in the company's Olympic initiatives as well support for McDonald's fitness and active lifestyle programs.

"Venus and Serena Williams embody the youthful, dynamic spirit of 'i'm lovin' it™' that lives in all of us -- from the 1.5 million McDonald's crew to the millions of customers who walk through the doors of our restaurants everyday," said Dean Barrett, Senior Vice President, McDonald's. "Partnering with Venus and Serena Williams is about keeping our promise to McDonald's customers -- to work with the world's leaders in sports, music, fashion and entertainment and encourage people around the globe to incorporate physical fitness into their daily lives."

The Williams sisters' global partnership will be seen immediately. Beginning today, Venus and Serena are featured on McDonald's Olympic themed packaging in the U.S. -- on take-out bags and Chicken Selects® boxes -- marking the first time that world class Olympic athletes have been featured on McDonald's new packaging design. The Williams sisters also will appear in both Olympic and Ronald McDonald® themed television commercials throughout the summer.

"To star in McDonald's Olympic commercials and packaging is really fun and exciting for Venus and me. We grew up eating McDonald's and never dreamed back then we'd ever see ourselves in their commercials and on their packaging," said Serena.

In another first, Venus Williams will demonstrate her distinctive flair for fashion by working with McDonald's to design an accessory exclusively for the company's Olympic Champion Crew who will travel to Greece for the Summer Games in August. The fashion piece is expected to be one of the "most sought after" items in Athens. Venus and Serena will also coach McDonald's Olympic Champion Crew, McDonald's best-of-the-best from 34 countries who will compete for the "first" medals of the Games during a Big Mac Building event scheduled for August 13th.

On the fitness front, Venus and Serena are participating in McDonald's global Go Active! web site, developed in partnership with the International Olympic Committee and the American College of Sports Medicine. encourages and provides specific steps to help people around the world incorporate physical fitness into their daily lives. Visitors to the site, soon to be translated into seven languages, will be able to get a behind-the- scenes look at how Venus and Serena prepare for a big match and can create their own customized plans to meet their specific fitness and nutrition goals.

" is a great website that can help people around the world make physical fitness a priority," said Venus. "It's important that people get their fitness program off to a great start. The web site does this and is something that we are proud to be associated with."

Two of the most prolific athletes in the history of women's tennis, Venus and Serena Williams have won sixteen Grand Slam titles. They are the first sisters to ever win the doubles event at the Olympics, the first sisters to win a Grand Slam title in singles and doubles play, and the first sisters to have ever met each other in a Grand Slam final. At the Athens Olympics, Venus and Serena will play for the United States in singles and doubles competition.

McDonald's will once again serve as a worldwide TOP partner and Official Restaurant for the Olympic Games this summer. The company recently announced the renewal of its worldwide Olympic Partnership through the 2012 Games. McDonald's is the world's leading foodservice retailer with more than 30,000 local restaurants, serving nearly 47 million people each day in over 100 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

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