McDonald's® Announces Plans to Bring 2006 FIFA World Cup™ Excitement to Life for Customers Around the World
Kick Off of 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ and McDonald's Player Escort Program
OAK BROOK, Ill.
Jun 8, 2006
As a worldwide sponsor and Official Partner of the FIFA World Cup™, McDonald's is bringing the world's passion for football to life as part of the company's "i'm lovin' it®" strategy of making stronger, more relevant connections with its customers around the world. McDonald's sponsorship of this premier sporting event provides the opportunity to speak to consumers across the globe through the universal language of football, a shared interest among millions of customers and employees.
"McDonald's has the ability to touch more than 50 million people each day, so we are in the unique position to deliver the fun and excitement of one of the world's most prestigious football events in truly engaging and surprising ways," said Jeff Carl, McDonald's Corporate Vice President of Global Marketing. "Because we want our customers to feel closer to the World Cup, we have created a wide range of exclusive activities to bring the tournament to life."
The global centerpiece of McDonald's FIFA World Cup activation is the Player Escort Program. Through this exclusive initiative, which supports McDonald's commitment to balanced, active lifestyles, 1,408 children ages 6 to 10 years old will receive the chance to make their FIFA World Cup dreams come true throughout the tournament. At the start of all 64 official FIFA World Cup matches, McDonald's Player Escorts will walk onto the field hand-in-hand with the world's best football players and experience the glory of the World Cup firsthand. This year's Player Escort Program consists of a total of 51 countries, with 226 international children and 1,182 children from host country Germany. The McDonald's Player Escorts will also get a chance to feel the thrill of FIFA World Cup competition while playing friendly football matches as part of their own tournament taking place in select German host cities during the FIFA World Cup.
In markets around the world, McDonald's restaurants will engage customers through special promotions, contests, advertisements, in-store activations and special menu items to bring the excitement of FIFA World Cup to local communities. Some examples include:
* Germany: The 2006 FIFA World Cup™ host country is recruiting the largest amount of Player Escorts ever brought to the FIFA World Cup while encouraging kids and families to handcraft football-themed artwork or participate in football tournaments. In a first for the FIFA World Cup, Official Fan Dancers have been recruited by McDonald's to entertain fans before all six matches in Berlin, including the Final alongside official mascot GOLEO VI. A panel of German celebrities selected the Official Fan Dancers. Additionally, since January 2006, Germany has given away more then 10,000 tickets through promotions in restaurants across the country. * Brazil: Offering a sandwich promotion that features local tastes and flavors from the countries competing at the FIFA World Cup including Italy, France, Argentina, United Kingdom, Uruguay and Germany. * China: Creating special FIFA World Cup television commercials and displaying FIFA World Cup-themed in-restaurant posters and beverage cups. * India: Hosting a "Foosball Freekick" indoor table football game in all McDonald's India outlets, where kids get the chance to take penalty shots against a goalkeeper and win prizes. * Japan: Created a special FIFA World Cup-themed promotion featuring a FIFA World Cup Mini-Match Ball and plush GOLEO VI toys, the Official FIFA World Cup mascot. * United Kingdom: Running commercials that promote a "Text to Win" mobile phone text messaging contest, including one advertisement featuring FIFA World Cup '66 legend, Sir Geoff Hurst. * United States: Offering special limited edition FIFA World Cup beverage cup in conjunction with a Spicy Chicken Sandwich promotion supported by radio and television advertisements.
Leveraging the growing popularity of on-line fantasy league gaming, for the first time, McDonald's offers Internet users around the world a chance to participate in the FIFA World Cup experience through an exclusive global sponsorship of the McDonald's/FIFA Fantasy™ Game on http://www.fifaworldcup.com/, available in nine languages. Football fans will be able to manage a squad of football superstars and compete against celebrity fantasy teams in the ultimate online football fantasy game.
Fans in Germany for the tournament will be able to enjoy McDonald's Salads Plus™ Garden Salads, Fruit Bags and Fruit n' Yogurt at concession stands in all 12 official stadia. Additionally, media representatives at the Stadium Media Center in Berlin can enjoy McCafe®, offering premium coffees, specialty drinks and pastries.
McDonald's has also enabled fans around the world to experience the thrill of the tournament first hand by giving away thousands of 2006 FIFA World Cup tickets through in-restaurant promotions, media tie-ins and special employee incentives in select McDonald's markets.
McDonald's is a longtime supporter of football for more than 25 years at the grassroots level to the glory of international tournaments. McDonald's has served as sponsor and Official Partner of the FIFA World Cup since 1994 in the United States, continuing through 1998 in France, 2002 in Korea and Japan and 2006 in Germany.
McDonald's is the leading foodservice retailer with more than 30,000 local restaurants serving quality food to nearly 50 million customers in more than 100 countries each day. Approximately 70 percent of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent, local men and women.
Editor's Note: For more information, please visit http://www.mcdepk.com/2006WorldCupResourceCenterPhoto: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060608/NYTH043
AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/
AP PhotoExpress Network: PRN5
PRN Photo Desk, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE: McDonald's Corporation
CONTACT: Michon Ellis of McDonald's Corporation, +1-630-623-4061,
Office, +1-312-330-3733, Mobile, Michon.Ellis@us.mcd.com: or William Byrne of
Burson-Marsteller, +1-312-596-3555, Office, +1-312-804-8413, Mobile,
Will.Byrne@bm.com, for McDonald's Corporation