McDonald's promoted a free food promotion in honour of the Olympic Games.
McDonald’s offered free food at the 1984 Olympics but incurred huge losses. Here's the reason.
During major sporting events held on a global scale, several businesses contribute as sponsors. Apart from that, excellent deals are announced at the time in order to impress sports enthusiasts and boost business. During big events like the IPL and the World Cup, many Indian firms advertise massive discounts. There are a lot of offers, notably for food and beverages.
McDonald's, a well-known American fast-food company has also launched a free offer. It was done earlier too in 1984. It was promoted as being free food with a scratch card. McDonald's revenues were projected to rise as a result of this offer, and the company was likely to benefit. An unanticipated event, however, severely harmed it.
This is exactly what occurred during the 1984 Summer Olympics. The 1984 Summer Olympics were held in Los Angeles. McDonald's, a well-known corporation, was one of the Olympic sponsors. During the Olympics, a massive promotion was unveiled with the tagline "When the United States Wins... You Win."
As part of this promotion, a few thousand free scratch cards were distributed to the general public. It said, “There’s some type of sports component on that scratch card. Check it out and see what all the fuss is about. If you win an American medal in that game, McDonald's will give you a free hamburger, coke, and fries."
McDonald's predicted that America would win gold in the Olympics under the age of 40. Because the United States had only won 34 gold medals in the previous Olympics. A majority of the gold at the time came from Russia and East Germany. This time, too, it was expected. But it was just here that the true twist began.
At the time of the Olympics, the United States and Russia were engaged in a Cold War. The US hit the 1980 Olympics in Russia with this. As a result, Russia and its ally East Germany announced their withdrawal from the 1984 Olympics.
Free food for a scratch card deal had already been advertised by McDonald's. Because Russia and East Germany were not present, the United States won a total of 83 gold medals at the Olympics. Each category had its own set of medals. As a result, individuals in the United States lined up in front of McDonald's restaurants with scratch cards in hand. There had to be twice as much free food as anticipated. At the time, McDonald's incurred heavy losses. McDonald's, on the other hand, never said how much damage the offer did. According to market sources, a few million dollars were lost three and a half decades ago as a result of this free offer.