OAK BROOK Ill. McDonald’s Corp. today unveiled an Olympic Games program called McDonald’s Champion Kids, part of the chain’s “biggest ever” marketing tie-in to the Games, said Mary Dillon, global chief marketing officer.
The program will bring 300 children from around the world to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where they will be able to watch the Games, meet the athletes, tour cultural sites and share their hometown stories and experiences with each other.
Six-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps will serve as the chain’s “global ambassador” for the program.
McDonald’s executives announced the program today during a teleconference with reporters.
Although McDonald’s is in the early stages of planning Olympic-themed marketing efforts, Dillon said food promotions and other market-specific programs are being developed.
“We’re putting a lot of resources into it,” she said, adding that the 118 countries where McDonald’s has restaurants are planning major marketing tie-ins.
In China this week, McDonald’s introduced a local version of its signature Big Mac sandwich called the China Mac and is conducting a food promotion featuring flavors from around the world, said Gary Rosen, McDonald’s chief marketing officer in China.
McDonald’s has been an Olympics sponsor since 1976 and is designated as the Official Restaurant of the Olympic Games.