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Company : Business Wire 
Thursday, May 30, 2002 2:35PM IST (9:05AM GMT)
 
(BW)(IL-MCDONALD'S)
McDonald's Scores for Children At the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan
Ill., Oak Brook, United States

McDonald's is helping children score big at the 2002 FIFA World Cup(TM) through a special program which pairs kids with the world's best football players. As sponsor of the FIFA World Cup(TM) Player Escort Program, McDonald's is bringing more than 1,400 children, ages 6-10, from around the world to take the field with the sport's most elite athletes as Player Escorts. Beginning on May 31 at the opening match in FIFA World Cup

Stadium(TM) in Seoul, Korea, and continuing through the Final on June 30 in Yokohama, Japan, one child will accompany each player from every team for pre-game introductions at all 64 matches.

"The McDonald's FIFA World Cup(TM) Player Escort Program reflects our ongoing commitment to enrich the lives of children through a variety of local programs in their communities as well as against the backdrop of world sporting events like this," said Claire Babrowski, President, McDonald's Asia-Pacific and Middle East Africa Group. "We are a long-time supporter of FIFA World Cup(TM) and are delighted to provide this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these children."

In addition to their moment on the pitch, the Player Escorts will enjoy a variety of social activities and entertainment as well as attend FIFA World Cup(TM) matches. Among the countries represented are Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and host countries Korea and Japan. The children were selected through a variety of activities in their communities, including: essay contests, radio competitions, and restaurant promotions.

"I'm really looking forward to meeting the best football players in the world and walking onto the pitch with them," said Cameron White, a 10-year-old Player Escort from Auckland, New Zealand. "It will also be so cool to meet the other children from all over the world at the World Cup and to spend time in Korea."

According to Babrowski, the Player Escort Program is one of several new initiatives McDonald's is supporting this year to benefit children. On November 20, 2002, McDonald's will conduct an unprecedented, simultaneous fundraiser for children in its restaurants around the world called "World Children's Day." Through fundraising and cause-related activities, these efforts will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities(TM) and children's causes in McDonald's communities in 121 countries worldwide.

Ray Kroc opened the first McDonald's restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois, USA, in 1955. Today McDonald's is the world's leading foodservice retailer with more than 30,000 restaurants, serving nearly 46 million people each day in 121 countries. More than 80 percent of McDonald's restaurants around the world are owned and operated by independent, local businessmen and women. McDonald's became a sponsor and the Official Restaurant of the FIFA World Cup(TM) in 1994, when the Tournament was held in the United States for the first time, and continued the sponsorship for the 1998 FIFA World Cup(TM) in France. For 2002 in Korea and Japan, McDonald's maintains its position as the Official Restaurant and one of 15 worldwide sponsors, and will partner again with FIFA for 2006 FIFA World Cup(TM) in Germany.

 
 
 
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