McDonald’s Rallies Around FIFA 2010 World Cup

When the world tunes in to watch the FIFA 2010 World Cup South Africa, McDonald’s wants to make sure it gets noticed. The No. 1 burger chain announced today, what it is calling, its most comprehensive marketing program surrounding the tournament. This is the fifth year the chain is serving as the sponsor and the official restaurant.

McDonald’s plans include menu items, packaging and restaurant promotions themed around the tournament, which kicks off June 11. McDonald’s also unveiled a series of online games at They are the “FIFA World Cup Predictor” and the “FIFA World Cup Fantasy Football Game.” Players can win prizes until the conclusion of World Cup competition.

The fast feeder also announced that soccer legends Marcel Desailly and John “Shoes” Moshoeu have joined the “McDonald’s Player Escort” program. More than 1,400 kids will get the opportunity to attend the tournament with Desailly and Moshoeu. It will also sponsor the “McDonald’s Fan Dancer” program, allowing young South African women the opportunity to perform during select matches.

Current FIFA partners include adidas, Coca-Cola, Emirates, Hyundai, Sony and Visa. The other FIFA sponsors are Budweiser, Castrol, Continental, McDonalds, MTN and Satyam.

Separately, Hyundai announced today that it is introducing “The Hyundai Best Young Player Award.” It will “recognize the outstanding achievements and courage of young players in next year’s tournament,” per the automaker. Coca-Cola, meanwhile, is sending the official FIFA World Cup Trophy around the world, including every nation in Africa. It will visit 86 countries in total.

“We’re committed to providing our customers with numerous ways to participate in the excitement and passion of FIFA World Cup South Africa,” McDonald’s global communications vice president Bridget Coffing said at a briefing held today. “From specially-themed menu items, packaging and restaurant promotions to innovative digital activities, community youth clinics and team sponsorships, our goal is to connect our customers like never before with FIFA World Cup.”