McDonald’s in the blocks for Olympics
5 June, 2012
McDonald’s is ready for an Olympic-sized operational challenge this summer and is a fit and proper sponsor of the Games, an interview in Marketing Week argues.
Nick Hindle, vice president of communications for McDonald’s UK and Northern Europe, said the company would be running four restaurants at the Games, including its biggest ever site. ‘What McDonald’s wants to get out of the Olympics is what we try to get out of the brand day in and day out in this country—we want the people we serve to have an enjoyable and affordable experience.” It is staffing the restaurants with 1,800 crew from around the UK. “It’s a massive challenge for us and we can showcase the ‘best of the best’.
Hindle also defends McDonald’s as an appropriate partner for the Olympics, following criticism that it doesn’t do enough to promote healthy eating. “It comes down to: ‘Is a burger restaurant an appropriate sponsor for the Olympics?’ We say yes, because of the care and attention that goes into preparing our food.” He says people have plenty of choice at the Games. “We are only part of the catering offer; there are lots of other food options… The reality is that major sporting events these days don’t happen without sponsorship and we are one of the few businesses that is global in nature, a consumer-facing brand and is able to have a long-term commitment to the Olympics movement.”
He says McDonald’s—like most operators—is still getting to grips with social media. “We don’t yet fully understand social media but not a week goes by when we don’t learn a little more about how to use it effectively. For us it is full of opportunity and risk.” More Twitter engagement will follow soon. “We do not have a Twitter account in the UK though in my mind the question is when, not if.”
For the full story, see ‘At the end of the day, let’s not pretend we are something we are not’.