Oak Brook, IL–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–June 30, 2006–McDonald’s today announced the names of 18 children from across the country who will be traveling to Germany as members of the McDonald’s international team of player escorts at the FIFA World Cup(TM) this July. The 18 children, ages 6 to 10, were selected through a national sweepstakes conducted in collaboration with Univision and through local market radio promotions.
Each child will travel with a parent or legal guardian and receive a prize package that includes an official uniform, travel and accommodations, game tickets, sightseeing and meals. The highlight of their experience will be to serve as a player escort for one of the internationally broadcast semi-final or final matches.
“As a worldwide sponsor and official partner of the FIFA World Cup(TM), this is another way that McDonald’s is bringing the concept of ‘i’m lovin’ it’(R) to life for our customers,” said Rick Marroquin, director of marketing, McDonald’s USA. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that puts these children in the center of the action at one of the greatest international sporting events of the year.”
This year, McDonald’s will send a total of 1,408 player escorts from 51 countries to the 2006 FIFA World Cup(TM). Since 2002, more than 3,000 children from throughout the world have been given the opportunity to be McDonald’s Player Escorts at tournaments including the 2002 FIFA World Cup(TM), UEFA EURO 2004(TM) and the FIFA Confederations Cup 2005(TM).
“It has been a dream of mine my whole life. I was going to sell my car to go to the World Cup!” said Edgar Escudero, father of Raul, winning child from Dallas, Texas. “My son and I are very excited and can’t wait to get to Germany. If there are soccer fans that really appreciate this opportunity, it’s us!”
Each of McDonald’s Player Escorts will walk onto the field hand-in-hand with the world’s best soccer players at one of the semi-final and final matches. The McDonald’s Player Escorts will also experience the thrill of World Cup competition while playing in their own Mini-World Cup tournament throughout the 12 German host cities.
The 18 winners are:
Juan Pablo Benavides – New York, New York
Martin Bilbao – Thousand Oaks, California
Jessica Criollo – Chicago, Illinois
Acacia Aalijah Douglas – New York, New York
Raul Escudero – Dallas, Texas
Sebastian Espino-Zarate – Raleigh, North Carolina
Valeria Garcia – South Lake Tahoe, California
Kimberly Gonzalez – San Bernardino, California
Hans Heinrich Kramer – Bowling Green, Kentucky
Dylan Puhan-Lattore – New York, New York
Jasmine Nijar – East Boston, Massachusetts
Bryan Joel Olivares – Mesa, Arizona
Sebastián Palacios – New York, New York
Andrea Reza – Albuquerque, New Mexico
John Rodas-Hill – Tigard, Oregon
Andres Salame – Canton, Georgia
Edward Saldivar – Avenal, California
Mateo Tabares – Sarasota Springs, Utah
The Player Escort Program is the centerpiece of McDonald’s 2006 national soccer program. McDonald’s is also sponsoring the Mexican National Team in its journey to Germany; conducting youth soccer clinics led by Mexican soccer sensation Kikin Fonseca at the team’s six friendly matches in the U.S.; and is co-sponsoring the Copa Coca Cola Youth Soccer Tournament in various cities throughout the United States.
McDonald’s USA, LLC is the leading foodservice provider in the United States serving a variety of wholesome foods made from quality ingredients to millions of customers every day. More than 80 percent of McDonald’s 13,700 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by local franchisees. For more information about McDonald’s visit http://www.mcdonalds.com.
For the past 102 years, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, founded on 21 May 1904 in Paris and better known as FIFA, has continued to provide the essential leadership role to the international football family. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, the eighth FIFA President, Joseph S. Blatter (Switzerland), guides the organization today with a commitment to the evolution of FIFA as a modern and dynamic association. The basis of the world’s football family is formed by FIFA’s member associations. From the founding seven in 1904, the family has today grown to 207 affiliated associations, also organized into six confederations spanning the globe. FIFA’s worldwide activities go well beyond its various competitions, such as the world’s biggest single-sport event, the FIFA World Cup(TM). FIFA also organizes many other top-quality football world championships that form the pyramid for world-wide football development: men’s & women’s U-17, U-20 & Olympic Football, the Confederations Cup, a Club World Championship, Futsal & Beach Soccer championships and even an Interactive World Cup. In projects such as the FIFA GOAL Program as well as several other development and charity activities such as the SOS Children Villages, FIFA gives material, financial and promotional support to develop the game and bring joy to underprivileged worldwide.
Editor’s Note: For more information, please visit http://www.mcdepk.com/2006WorldCupResourceCenter
(C) 2006 McDonald’s