McDonald’s prepares for Olympics with #CheersToSochi campaign


McDonalds is leveraging mobile and social to cheer on athletes in the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games and engage consumers in the social support.

Consumers can tweet messages and good luck wishes to athletes and teams competing in the Sochi Olympics by using the hashtag #CheersToSochi. These messages will then be displayed in the Athletes’ Village in Sochi, where athletes can view and print these messages onto ribbons to wear around their wrists.

McDonalds is giving Olympic fans from around the world a unique opportunity to send their cheers directly to their favorite athletes and teams competing in Sochi, said , said Becca Hary, spokesperson at McDonalds, Oak Brook, IL.

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The digital messages will be delivered to athletes competing in Sochi via a unique display in the Athletes Village, she said. Every athlete who visits the display will be able to search for personalized well-wishes sent by fans from around the world.

Cheers to Sochi
McDonalds has been an Olympic partner for 38 years, and this year the quick-service restaurant decided to add this new campaign to let consumers connect with athletes in Sochi in a new way.

Consumers can send messages to athletes and teams via Twitter or by the microsite They can search through athletes on the microsite and filter by country and sport or they can simply include an athletes Twitter handle.

Consumers can also choose to support a whole team as opposed to an individual athlete.

The messages from the campaign will be on display in the athletes village in Sochi. Athletes will be able to search the displays for fan messages, and they can then select their favorites to print onto ribbons to wear on their wrists for luck.

If a consumers message is chosen to be printed, McDonalds will tweet him back to notify him. Consumers may also receive personalized messages from the athletethey tweeted.

Additionally the microsite contains a rolling count of how many messages have been sent through the campaign.

The campaign will continue throughout the Olympic Games.

United States hockey player Patrick Kane, Canadian hockey player Drew Doughty, U.S. speed skater Shani Davis and Canadian figure skater Patrick Chan are among the top athletes that are encouraging fans to participate in the #CheersToSochi campaign.

Mobile support
McDonalds is wise to tap into social and mobile for this Olympics campaign. Consumers are spending more time on social mediafrom smartphones than ever before, and it is an easy and quick way for brands to connect with and engage consumers.

A number of other brands have leverage Twitter and other social media channels for sweepstakes.

For instance, Planet Fitness recently launched its “Biggest Supporter” campaign which lets Biggest Loser viewers to tweet support for their favorite contestants (see story).

Dental insurance provider United Concordia also tapped into mobile and social with its Champions for Wellness campaign last year. The campaign asked consumers to vote for a charity to determine which was awarded prize money (see story).

While McDonalds campaign does not include a sweepstakes or prize aspect, it still generates engagement and conversation around the brand, and mobile is the way to go for this kind of conversation.

Our campaign connects fans to their favorite athletes and teams and is a fun way to bring the fun and excitement of the Olympics to consumers, Ms. Hary said.

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York

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