McDonald's marketing boss on why it's rolling out its biggest ever football campaign

McDonald's is rolling out its biggest ever grassroots football campaign this August, as it seeks to tighten ties with local communities.

McDonald's: grassroots football enables it to drive closer ties with communities
McDonald's: grassroots football enables it to drive closer ties with communities

The campaign, which is supported by experiential and digital activity, will be Twitter-led in a "brand first" and will encourage families to interact with McDonald's over social media for the chance for kids to be a Player Escort at next year's UEFA Euro 2016 in France.

Running until the end of August, the #CelebrateBetter campaign - also on Instagram and Periscope for the first time - is acivated by Arc Sponsorship, Leo Burnett’s sponsorship division and calls on families to submit photos of their children’s goal celebrations via Twitter to be in with a chance of winning. 

It's not about finding the next Wayne Rooney 

Photography, video content and live streams from events across the summer will give fans access to the brand's football ambassadors who include Lioness Casey Stoney, Manchester United Assistant Coach Ryan Giggs and Sir Geoff Hurst. 

Over the weekend McDonald's also took over Olympic Way and the Bobby Moore Bridge with a branded wrap designed to encourage those visiting Wembley Stadium to encourage people to participate.

Fans were able to get involved in experiential activities including 'The Kneeslider' designed to encourage visiting fans to create their best goal celebrations. The activity will now tour the country over the coming four weeks at a series of McDonald's hosted football community days.

Reaching out to communities

Marketing director Steve Hill told Marketing the campaign is the first time the brand had led a campaign with user generated content. He added it had seen a 20% spike in Twitter followers since the weekend.

The brand has been sponsoring football for 13 years but wants to "re-engineer" its activity this year to focus on grassroots football. The campaign, he said, is "not about finding the next Wayne Rooney" but celebrating everyday community football heroes including coaches and 'football mums' and about making football as enjoyable as possible. 

"It's about celebrating all aspects of the game," he said, "[and] to allow families to #CelebrateBetter."

"It's the first time we've ran a Twitter campaign of this scale and the first time we've done a UGC (user generated content) campaign on football.

"We have restaurants up and down the country and want to ensure we create a connection with these communities."

He added that whilst encouraging healthy lifestyle was not a "major driver" of the activity, the brand also wanted to encourage young people to exercise. 

The brand will also roll out partnerships with Mumsnet, BritMums and a host of parenting bloggers to engage parents and families in a "new and content-led way" by encouraging parents to share their grassroots football experiences with one another. 

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