The McDonald’s Player Escort Programme brings together the stars of today with the stars of tomorrow.
Imagine the thrill of standing beside a football star, hearing the roar of the crowd in front of millions of fans, before turning 11-years-old. The McDonald’s Player Escort programme will give 1,408 children from a total of 47 different countries, the chance to walk hand-in-hand onto the pitch with football stars at all 64 matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. It is just one way McDonald’s supports children’s well-being as an Official Sponsor and the Official Restaurant of the FIFA World Cup.
During their stay, the children - who are aged between six and ten and have been selected in their home countries through fun competitions and contests – will attend the tournament, tour cultural sites in South Africa and play their own friendly football matches. In addition to escorting the players on to the field, selected Player Escorts will walk on stage with celebrities, musicians and other VIPs at the three-hour 10 June celebratory concert in Johannesburg to mark the first FIFA World Cup on the African continent.
McDonald’s has been a sponsor of grassroots sports for more than 25 years. McDonald’s South Africa is working with McDonald’s UK to bring a special opportunity to South Africa called the Coach the Coaches programme, which McDonald’s UK has been running in the UK for eight years.
With this programme, McDonald's South Africa is providing training and equipment to make kids’ football experiences possible in partnership with the South African Schools Football Association, which is directed by the assistant head coach of the South African National Football team. This Coach the Coaches programme will benefit children in 3,000 schools throughout the country. McDonald’s South Africa will also fund regular coaching and provide the necessary equipment at the Rena le Lona Community Center in Soweto which cares for 123 orphans and children in need.
McDonald’s has served as an Official Sponsor and Official Restaurant of the FIFA World Cup since 1994 and is proud to bring the passion of the sport to life for millions of customers and fans in more than 100 countries around the world through special promotions, contests, advertisements and in-store merchandising. The McDonald’s Player Escort programme began in 2002 at the FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan™. Since then, the company has provided more than 6,000 children with the unique experience of being a McDonald’s Player Escort.