England's Owen Hargreaves and Sweden's Freddie Ljungberg today met the McDonald's Player Escorts who will walk out with the teams at the Sweden vs England match, at an event showcasing McDonald's programmes at UEFA EURO 2012™.
(Photo: Business Wire)
The Player Escort Programme is the centrepiece of McDonald's sponsorship of UEFA EURO 2012™, giving 682 children from Europe the chance to walk out with their football heroes in Poland and Ukraine.
Hargreaves, who boasts 42 caps for England, and Ljungberg, who appeared 75 times for Sweden, met Player Escorts from England, Sweden and Ukraine at McDonald's flagship restaurant in Kyiv's fan zone. The McDonald's Player Escorts represented children across 34 countries given the once in a lifetime chance to accompany the players onto the pitch ahead during the UEFA EURO 2012™ tournament.
Pierre Woreczek, Senior Vice President of Brand & Strategy at McDonald's Europe, said "The McDonald's Player Escort Programme gives children a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk out with some of Europe's best footballers ahead of a UEFA EURO 2012™ match. It is a fun way to inspire children to get involved in sport and an incredible experience they will never forget."
Hargreaves and Ljungberg then went head-to-head, managing two teams of Player Escorts in a friendly game and taking part in a penalty shoot-out at a local school.
Hargreaves, whose clubs have included Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Manchester City, said: "Not many players are lucky enough to go to a European Championship so for these youngsters this is something unforgettable that will stay with them forever."
Ljungberg, who captained his country at the 2008 tournament, said: "UEFA EURO 2012™ is a special tournament and this will be an incredible experience for the McDonald's Player Escorts. It was really good fun managing the team of youngsters and I wish them loads of luck for the big match tonight."
The Player Escort Programme is just one of the initiatives McDonald's is spearheading during UEFA EURO 2012™. Since 1 June, McDonald's has been searching for the most passionate football fans across Europe with the McDonald's Passion Meter™, gauging which fans are the most passionate and cheer the loudest at this summer's tournament, with two Giant Passion Meters situated in Kyiv and Warsaw's Super Fan Zones. Fans can also prove their passion with a Passion Meter app, or on the Passion Meter web site www.passion-meter.com.
The McDonald's Euro Cup, the largest employee football tournament of its kind in Europe, will give McDonald's employees from across the continent the chance to tread the same turf as some of Europe's finest players just the day after the UEFA EURO 2012™ Semi Finals, at the Warsaw National Stadium, featuring 12 teams from 10 countries who will compete to be crowned champions of Europe.
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Notes to editors
The McDonald's' Player Escort programme dates back to the 2002 FIFA World Cup™ in Japan and Korea, and the 2004 UEFA European Championships™ in Portugal. Since it began, McDonald's has given almost 4,000 children from Europe the unforgettable experience of walking out with their favourite players at the world's best football tournaments.
About McDonald's Europe
McDonald's Europe is the region's leading foodservice retailer with more than 7,100 restaurants in 40 countries serving over 13 million customers a day. Over 70% of McDonald's restaurants in Europe are owned and operated by independent local business men and women. For more information, please visit our website at www.mcdpressoffice.eu.
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