Industry News | February 12, 2009

McDonald's Canada Begins Olympic Countdown

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As the one-year countdown to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games begins, McDonald's Canada is getting set to activate a wide variety of programs over the next year designed to bring the Games to life from coast-to-coast and engage Canadians like never before.

As one of only nine top sponsors, McDonald's is uniquely positioned to become Canada's Olympic Games headquarters, with more than 1,400 restaurants in local communities across the country and more than 77,000 employees eager to share their Olympic Spirit and deliver a unique McDonald's experience to our customers.

"Nothing unites this country in a more profound way than seeing our best and brightest shine on the world stage," says John Betts, president, McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Limited. "The programs we have developed will help Canadian athletes and children, as well as our restaurant employees and customers, get a taste of the Games as only McDonald's can offer."

Among the best and brightest in Canada, figure skating sensation Patrick Chan has officially joined the McDonald's roster of sponsored athletes as he prepares for the next chapter in his career, which already boasts amazing success including back-to-back Canadian Championship titles.

"I am truly grateful for the support of McDonald's Canada and feel fortunate to join a group of incredible athletes that includes Cindy Klassen and Alexandre Despatie," says the 18-year-old Chan.

To coincide with the one-year out milestone, McDonald's Canada has also released a video featuring Patrick Chan and other members of the McDonald's family preparing to "be there" when the Canadian anthem is played for the first time ever on home soil as part of an Olympic gold medal ceremony.

Below briefly outlines the various McDonald's Canada programs that will help bring the Olympic Games to life for Canadians from coast-to-coast:

Official Restaurant

The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games will mark McDonald's seventh Olympic Games as a top sponsor and eighth as the Official Restaurant of the Olympic Games. Once again, McDonald's will be serving its menu of choice and variety to athletes, coaches, officials, and media, including favorites such as the Big Mac sandwich and World Famous Fries, as well as the Egg McMuffin sandwich, Chicken McNuggets, entree salads, and Fruit n' Yogurt Parfaits.

McDonald's Olympic Champion Crew

Chosen for their outstanding work ethic and dedication to excellence they bring to their jobs each and every day, nearly 300 McDonald's Olympic Champion Crew members from restaurants across Canada will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to proudly serve athletes, coaches, officials, and media their favorite McDonald's food on-site at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. As part of their experience, they will also attend selected Olympic events and special functions.

McDonald's Champion Kids

First coordinated at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, where two Canadian kids joined more than 200 others from nearly 40 countries, this program will enable more Canadian children from across Canada to experience the Games unlike any other spectator. As part of McDonald's ongoing commitment to children, this program also provides an opportunity for them to share their Olympic experience before, during and after the Games, through their hometown media outlets.

McDonald's 2010 Hopefuls

This program celebrates the importance of family and community on the journey to the pinnacle of sport. First launched in Quebec in 2006 and extended nationally in 2008, it supports the aspirations of 26 athletes from coast-to-coast to compete at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games and also recognizes the efforts of parents, as their children strive for the opportunity to represent Canada. The program provides grants to help offset some of the costs involved in areas such as training, coaching and traveling.

Team McDonald's Athletes

A group of past, current, and future Olympians including Cassie Campbell, Alexandre Despatie, Cindy Klassen, and Patrick Chan have been selected based on the spirit, enthusiasm, sportsmanship, and dedication they bring to their sport and to leading a balanced active lifestyle. The athletes will work with McDonald's Canada to help spread the Olympic Spirit in the coming months through speaking engagements, community functions, and restaurant visits.

Olympic Games Creative/Olympic-Themed Promotions

McDonald's restaurants across Canada will bring the excitement of the Games to life for their customers in a variety of food and product promotions and activities. McDonald's will share the spirit of the Games through a multimedia advertising/PR campaign (currently in development) that is designed to reach consumers through both traditional and non-traditional channels and draw the connection between the values of the McDonald's brand and those of the Olympic Games.