McDonald’s unveils Olympic sponsorship plans

McDonald’s will launch a global initiative to encourage kids to stay active, one of a raft of measures the restaurant chain has announced to back its sponsorship of the event.

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The Champions of Play initiative aims to encourage children to play and stay fit. Local campaigns will promote balanced diets, the company says, “to champion active kids”.

The company also announced that Happy Meals will be available for the time at its Olympic restaurants at the London 2012 Games.

The children’s meal offer will be available in the four to be built Olympic restaurants as part of the company’s “broadest ever” menu at the Games.

A spokeswoman says that Happy Meals have been introduced to satisfy expected demand. Research, she adds, shows that more than two thirds of visitors to the park have children and will bring to venues during the Games.

McDonald’s has been criticised for promoting Happy Meals, which are accused of being high in fat and salt, to kids by including toys.

In a webcast to announce the Olympic plans today (20 July), global chief brand officer Kevin Newell was keen to point out that milk, fruit and vegetables will also be pushed in Olympic restaurants.

The chain is opening four Olympic restaurants. Two – including its “biggest ever” outlet – will open in the Olympic Park, one in the athletes village and one in the press area.

The Olympic Park restaurants are to have a “contemporary” and “urban” design, the company says, with graffiti art and brightly coloured chairs.

Read a recent interveiw with McDonald’s UK vice president of food and marketing Alistair Macrow here

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