McDonald’s could be excused if it chose to sit back and rest up for its big sponsorship role at next month’s London Olympics. Instead, the chain is sponsoring another big sporting event: the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, known as Euro 2012. It starts tomorrow (June 8) with matches held through July 1 in Poland and Ukraine.
In conjunction with the Euro 2012 sponsorship, McDonald’s not only has created new burgers with buns that looks like soccer balls but is also, and more importantly, is renewing its efforts to popularize boxed meals.
McDonald’s “Championship Menu” promotion in the UK includes the Cheese & Bacon Striker burger, a variation on the Big Tasty with cheese, bacon, lettuce and cheese sauce, and the Chicken Maestro, combining a Chicken Legend patty with lettuce, tomato and garlic & herb mayo on the soccer bun. Finally, there’s the Dream Team Share Box, a boxed snack pack with 10 Chicken McNuggets, 10 Onion Rings and a choice of four dips. An accompanying TV commercial from Leo Burnett is a tribute to English soccer fans.
The promotion also includes a “Passion Meter” site at www.passion-meter.com where soccer fans can measure the strength of their country’s desire to win Euro 2012.
The Euro 2012 promotion includes variations on these three elements at McDonald’s around Europe. In Austria, the burger is the Grand Royal and the Chicken Box pack has 20 Chicken McBites (their debut in Europe, I believe), 12 Chicken McNuggets, five chicken wings and four dipping sauces. The Swiss Share Box has three chicken wings, three chicken fillets, six chicken nuggets and three fried shrimp with dipping sauces.
In Poland the burger is a double-patty Euroburger; in the Czech Republic it also has two patties and is the Double Beef Kick. In Germany the soccer-bun burger is the Team Burger with cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, cucumber slices and mustard sauce. In Hungary it’s the Fanburger.
McDonald’s first tested a Family Dinner Box meal in Australia in 2010. Since then, in various markets it has tested boxed lunches and breakfasts. Efforts such as Pizza Hut’s current $10 Dinner Box with pizza, breadsticks, cinnamon sticks and dipping sauces is another indication that boxed multi-person meals are the menu promotion of the future, even if McDonald’s hasn’t given the concept a try in the U.S. Yet.