REAL SALT LAKE & AMERICAN EXPRESS TO AGAIN RECOGNIZE UTAH’S “HEROES AMONG US” IN 2011
Pre-game Recognition Campaign Honoring Everyday Heroes in the Community Returns for Second Season;
Utah State Parks and Recreation Ranger Brody Young to Serve as 2011’s First Recipient during MLS Home Opener on Saturday, March 26
SANDY, Utah (Thursday, March 10, 2011) – Real Salt Lake and American Express are proud to announce the return of the “Heroes Among Us” program for the Utah side’s upcoming 2011 MLS campaign. For every home match during regular season and postseason play, Real Salt Lake and American Express will continue to recognize the outstanding contributions of everyday citizens doing extraordinary things by treating them to a night out at Rio Tinto Stadium. Recipients will be heralded during a pre-game ceremony and receive complimentary game tickets along with a personalized 2011 RSL jersey.
“With the tremendous reaction we received last season from recipients and fans alike, we are more than proud to partner with American Express to bring back the ‘Heroes Among Us’ award,” said RSL Sr. Vice President of Business Operations, John Kimball. “This program is a very small way to thank our neighbors that do very big things in our community.”
The “Heroes Among Us” recognition seeks to showcase the unselfish pillars of strength in our community that all too often go unnoticed, giving their efforts a chance to be highlighted in championship fashion in front of Real Salt Lake’s faithful fans. Last year’s launching of the “Heroes Among Us” honor proved to be a highlight of the RSL gameday experience, with the Rio Tinto Stadium crowds enthusiastically thanking recipients that included first responders, teachers, volunteers, charity organizers, and fallen soldiers, among others. In all, RSL and American Express honored more than 20 individuals and families in 2010 for making a difference and providing a positive impact on the lives of others in the Beehive State and beyond.
“It's an honor to partner once again with Real Salt Lake in recognizing the heroes in this great community,” said Dan Clayton, American Express' manager of Public Affairs in Salt Lake City. “With our legacy of service, we enjoy celebrating the impact of our fellow Utahans on their community. We look forward to recognizing more great contributions this season.”
To kick off the 2011 edition of the “Heroes Among Us” program during Real Salt Lake’s March 26 regular season home opener against the L.A. Galaxy, RSL and American Express are proud to recognize Moab resident Brody Young. A Utah State Parks and Recreation law enforcement officer, Young was attempting to assist a park visitor in a vehicle stopped at the Poison Spider Mesa trail head on the night of November 19th when the man unexpectedly turned violent, the ensuing gunfight between the two resulting in Young being shot nine times. While his wounds should have proved fatal, thanks to the immediate response from paramedics and the strength gained from his faith and family – including three young children – Young survived the ordeal and continues to rehabilitate in the hopes of returning to what he calls his “dream job.” He calls the incident “a blessing for his family” and hopes to use the experience as a way to help others change their perspectives on life and faith in humanity. To find out ways in which you can help Young’s recovery efforts and cause, visit www.RangerBrody.org.
For more information on the Real Salt Lake/American Express “Heroes Among Us” program, including details on how to nominate candidates for the 2011 season and biographies of last season’s recipients, visit the “Heroes Among Us” page under the “Community” section of www.RealSaltLake.com. In addition, candidate submissions can be returned via email to heroesamongus@RealSaltLake.com, fax to 801-727-1469, or mail to the address below:
Rio Tinto Stadium
Attn: Heroes Among Us/Shannon Stearns
9526 State Street
Sandy, Utah 84070
American Express Company (www.americanexpress.com) is a leading global payments, network and travel company founded in 1850. The Salt Lake City Service Center is part of an award-winning global servicing organization supporting external customers – Cardmembers and Merchants.
For the second consecutive year in 2010, American Express was included in BusinessWeek's annual listing of top servicing companies, ranking 18 out of 25 "Customer Service Champs." In 2009, for the third consecutive year, American Express was ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Credit Card Companies” by J.D. Power and Associates.
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. As it continues to grow on and off the field, Real Salt Lake has shown its Championship pedigree, 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. Real Salt Lake continued to reach new heights in 2010 by setting numerous club and League records in regular season action while setting new standards in international play, becoming the first MLS team to both win its Group Stage in the CONCACAF Champions League and, in March 2011, qualify for the regional club championship’s Semifinal Round.
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.