MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER STARS INCLUDING RSL’S JAVIER MORALES TO COMPETE OFF THE FIELD IN CAMPAIGN TO IMPROVE AMERICA’S COMMUNITIES
ALL 16 MLS Clubs Vie for Pepsi Refresh Grant as Part of the Pepsi Refresh Project;
Reigning MLS Player of the Week to Promote Children’s Health and Fitness Initiatives in Salt Lake Valley
SANDY, Utah / NEW YORK (Friday, August 20, 2010) – Starting today, all 16 clubs across Major League Soccer are asking fans to join them in making a difference in America’s communities. As part of the Pepsi Refresh Project, each Club has outlined an idea – such as Real Salt Lake midfielder Javier Morales’ partnership with local schools to champion programs in the fight against childhood obesity – that will vie for fan votes and an ultimate $50,000 Pepsi Refresh grant to fulfill the project.
Much like the way he dishes out assists on the field, Morales is spreading the wealth for his Pepsi Refresh Project by spearheading a multi-pronged attack on childhood obesity. The two-time MLS All-Star and reigning Player of the Week will lend his support and message to area youths at elementary school health-and-fitness assemblies, part of his efforts in the local promotion of MLS W.O.R.K.S.’ Active Bodies Active Minds program and First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative (a listing of school locations and appearance dates/times will be updated on www.RealSaltLake.com once the schedule is finalized in the coming days).
Launching today through Monday, September 20 at 9:59 p.m. MT, fans can cast their votes at www.MLSsoccer.com/PepsiRefresh for the ideas they believe should receive a grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project. Other ideas across MLS in the running include:
- Chicago Fire/Brian McBride – Provide Chicago Public School students with tools they need to be healthy, happy and productive students throughout the school year.
- Chivas USA/Mariano Trujillo – Provide professional soccer clinics to kids in the greater Los Angeles area.
- Colorado Rapids/Pablo Mastroeni – Provide healthy food for children (350 families each week in Denver metro area) to take home to their families every Friday for one calendar year through the Totes of Hope Program.
- Columbus Crew/Steven Lenhart –Help children with autism and other disabilities get therapy they need with Easter Seals.
- D.C. United/Devon McTavish – Introduce activity, soccer and healthy living through the United Soccer Club, an after-school program within the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
- FC Dallas/Daniel Hernandez – Educate children with paralysis on ways they can lead more active lives through adaptive sports.
- Houston Dynamo/Corey Ashe – Partner with Soccer for Success, an after school program that educates kids about healthy food and exercise throughout the Houston school district.
- Kansas City Wizards/Jimmy Conrad – Build youth soccer fields at Belvedere Park in urban Kansas City, MO, to provide a facility to keep kids engaged and out of trouble.
- LA Galaxy/Edson Buddle – Refresh communities by empowering, encouraging and educating children through the building of a soccer-themed playroom at a children’s hospital, conducting soccer camps focused on fitness and health and providing aid, equipment and soccer instruction in Haiti for kids affected by the earthquake through the Galaxy Foundation’s Haitian Initiative.
- New England Revolution/Chris Tierney – Instruct and certify youth soccer coaches throughout New England in CPR and AED machines using the American Heart Association’s training methods and take-away trainers.
- New York Red Bulls/Seth Stammler – Serve Haitian communities heavily affected by the earthquake and fund individuals who are recruited to help with Stammler’s Sporting Chance Foundation program.
- Philadelphia Union/Alejandro Moreno – Create a natural grass, full-sized and small-sided soccer pitch in the City of Chester as the home for the newly formed Chester City United soccer organization and all school district soccer activities.
- San Jose Earthquakes/Arturo Alvarez – Provide an intramural sports program for low-income students from middle schools in the San Jose Unified School District whose sports programs are being threatened by state budget cuts.
- Seattle Sounders FC/James Riley – Help a local family renovate their home and purchase equipment to aide their son who recently lost his leg in a car accident.
- Toronto FC/Dwayne De Rosario – Help youth in financial need participate in organized soccer by partnering with KidSport Ontario to provide equipment, a training venue and coaching manuals.
“The Pepsi Refresh Project is proud to provide the stage to showcase these inspiring team ideas from across the league,” said Jeff Dubiel, Vice President of Pepsi Sports. “Through this initiative, fans will have the opportunity to recognize their favorite team for something other than their on-field performance. By showing their support, they will be helping to make a difference in their local community -- everybody wins.”
The Pepsi Refresh Project is a groundbreaking effort to foster innovation in social good that will award more than $20 million this year to fund great ideas that help impact the world. Throughout 2010, Pepsi will fund ideas that will move the world forward in six categories: Health, Arts & Culture, Food & Shelter, The Planet, Neighborhoods and Education. The Pepsi Refresh Project, which launched Jan. 13, features significant social engagement around people and the power of ideas. People are encouraged to submit their ideas and to cast a vote for their favorite ideas at www.refresheverything.com.
positive change and giving back to their respective communities has been a
longstanding priority for MLS fans,” said David Wright, Vice President, Major
League Soccer and Soccer United Marketing. “We are grateful to Pepsi for
allowing our clubs, players and fans the opportunity to make a difference in
their local market. The collective effort of our passionate fans will
drive positive results, while building on the success of the Pepsi Refresh
Pepsi is a product of PepsiCo Beverages Americas (PBA). In addition to the Pepsi trademark, the PBA portfolio includes the Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist and Mug trademarks in the carbonated soft drink category. PBA is a division of PepsiCo, Inc., which offers the world's largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that each generates more than $1 billion in annual retail sales. Our main businesses - Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade - also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in more than 200 countries. With annualized revenues of nearly $60 billion, PepsiCo's people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth, called Performance with Purpose. By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide. In recognition of its continued sustainability efforts, PepsiCo was named for the third time to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World) and for the fourth time to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index (DJSI North America) in 2009. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.
About Real Salt Lake
In July of 2004, Utah native and sports business visionary Dave Checketts announced that the dream of bringing world-class soccer to the great state of Utah had come to fruition, as Major League Soccer 12th franchise – later known as Real Salt Lake – was born. The mission was simple: create an internationally-recognized soccer brand, one which would become the flagship franchise of a growing North American sport.
Real Salt Lake quickly established itself as a leader in its community, a developer of young soccer talent on the field and one of Major League Soccer’s business leaders. Just five years later, in slightly more time than a World Cup or Olympic cycle, Real Salt Lake has shown its Championship pedigree both on and off the field, capturing its first MLS Cup title on Nov. 22, 2009, by defeating the LA Galaxy at Seattle’s Qwest Field, and in February of 2010 garnering the Salt Lake Chamber’s prestigious “President’s Award” for excellence in small business.
RSL has cultivated a vibrant soccer culture in the InterMountain West, one which has demonstrated a surprising level of acumen and savvy regarding the international nature of the sport, and one whose loyalty and dedication to the RSL shield inspires the organization.
About Major League Soccer
Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. MLS features many stars from the U.S., Canada, and around the world. MLS kicked off its 15th season on March 25, 2010. MLS features 16 clubs each playing 30 regular season matches in 2010. Those teams include Chicago Fire; Colorado Rapids; Chivas USA; Columbus Crew; D.C. United; FC Dallas; Houston Dynamo; Kansas City Wizards; Los Angeles Galaxy; New York Red Bulls; New England Revolution; 2009 MLS Cup Champion Real Salt Lake; San Jose Earthquakes; Seattle Sounders FC; Toronto FC; and, in their inaugural season, Philadelphia Union. Expansion teams in Vancouver and Portland will debut in 2011 and in Montreal in 2012. For more information about MLS, log on to the League’s official Web site at www.MLSsoccer.com.