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McDonald's gears up for the Olympics

McDonald's gears up for the Olympics

OAK BROOK Ill. McDonald's outlined its sponsorship plans Monday for the 2010 Winter Olympics, which includes three restaurants, limited-time offers and special promotional packaging.

Beginning Feb. 12 in Vancouver, British Columbia, the 2010 Olympics will be McDonald’s eighth Olympic Games as the official restaurant of the competition. The company will build two McDonald’s restaurants in the Olympic Villages at Vancouver and nearby Whistler to feed more than 10,000 athletes and coaches. Another unit in the Main Media Center in Vancouver will be open 24 hours and serve the more than 3,000 members of the media expected to cover the games.

“Athletes continue to tell us they love our quality food when training or celebrating wins at the games, and it’s one of the reason we’re proud to be the only brand serving them as the official restaurant of the Olympic Games,” said Mary Dillon, McDonald's global chief marketing officer. “We’re thrilled our food can play a special role in their lives and for our more than 58 million customers every day around the world.”

McDonald’s restaurants in Canada will roll out special limited-time products like the S’mores Pie dessert and the Creme Brulee Crunch McFlurry. Happy Meals in the host country will have interactive toys modeled on the 2010 Winter Games mascots.

“In addition to feeding the athletes, there is something for everyone to celebrate the games at our 1,400 McDonald’s restaurants across Canada,” said John Betts, president of McDonald’s Canada. “We want our customers to know McDonald’s is their Olympic Games headquarters, and we look forward to welcoming the world to celebrate with us.”

In the United States, McDonald's will highlight its Chicken McNuggets and a new special sauce, which will be available for a limited time.

McDonald’s also will unveil special advertising campaigns in its global markets featuring local Olympic athletes on its packaging and starring in commercials. Packaging materials at its 15,000 restaurants across the United States will feature American athletes like snowboarder Graham Watanabe, as well as speedskater J.R. Celski and Paralympics skier Sean Halsted, who will star in McDonald’s USA’s Olympic television spots.

McDonald’s Canada will show six new Olympics commercials leading up to the games and will showcase Canadian athletes on its packaging. Other countries like Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway will use Olympics tie-ins to promote Chicken McNuggets in their markets.

McDonald’s, which first fed Olympic athletes by airlifting hamburgers to American competitors at the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France, today has more than 32,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries.

Contact Mark Brandau at [email protected].

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