EAST HANOVER, N.J., March 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- More big names are coming to Major League Soccer this season – and they're hungry to get in on the action.
Mondelez International, the maker of OREO, RITZ, TRIDENT, HONEY MAID and SOUR PATCH KIDS, today announced a multi-year deal to become the Official Snacks of MLS. The sponsorship bolsters the brands' presence in the sport as they enter the second year of the #PassTheLove campaign, a fully integrated program to help spread the passion for soccer coast to coast.
"MLS has played an enormous role in the explosion of soccer in America, and we're excited about how this great league and its fans can help us #PassTheLove," said Stephen Chriss, Senior Director, North America Consumer Engagement and Marketing Services at Mondelez International. "Our MLS sponsorship opens even more avenues to reinforce how our snacks increase the fun of soccer whether you're at the stadium, watching on TV or playing the game."
The designation of Official Snacks of MLS extends to the cookie, candy, cracker and gum categories and will be inclusive of a series of globally-recognized brands operated by Mondelez International, including:OREO, CHIPS AHOY, RITZ, WHEAT THINS, HONEY MAID, NEWTONS, BELVITA, TRIDENT, DENTYNE, STRIDE and SOUR PATCH KIDS, among others.
The deal with MLS includes all forms of media, retail, shopper marketing, consumer promotions, PR and social media. The sponsorship includes rights to activate at the AT&T MLS All-Star Game and MLS Cup, MLS' championship game, and to align with current players and other league ambassadors. Deal terms were negotiated in conjunction with CAA Sports Consulting (on behalf of Mondelez International) and Soccer United Marketing.
An Exciting Opportunity
MLS has kicked off its 20th season with more momentum than ever, including new national television and media rights partnerships, expansion clubs in key markets including New York and Orlando, and scheduling changes to increase fan excitement and anticipation as teams compete to win MLS Cup.
Mondelez International recognizes the enormous potential to leverage the league's growing stature with a broad range of consumers – including multicultural audiences – whether it's in-store or through innovative digital media executions.
"By tapping into the excitement surrounding MLS and soccer, we're giving our snack brands amazing opportunities to appeal to moms, dads, teens and athletes in their communities," said Chriss. "And this sponsorship strengthens our relevance with multicultural consumers, many of whom love soccer and identify with brands like ours who have made an authentic, long-term commitment to the sport."
"It's always great to partner with companies that have a true passion for soccer, and Mondelez International understands the potential of our league and our sport to resonate with consumers and fans," said David Wright, Senior Vice President, Global Partnerships, Soccer United Marketing. "Unveiling this new sponsorship with globally recognized brands is yet another great way to begin our 20th season."
A Movement to #PassTheLove
Through its expanding sponsorships and engaging consumer activations, Mondelez International has rapidly established itself as a key player in the sport at a time when attendance and enthusiasm for soccer are skyrocketing.
In 2014, Mondelez International unveiled a multi-year sponsorship to become the Official Snacks of U.S. Soccer (Men's and Women's National Teams). The company also maintains an endorsement deal with Alex Morgan, one of the pre-eminent figures in women's soccer as the U.S. Women's National Team prepares for this summer's much-anticipated international tournament.
With MLS now added to the mix, Mondelez International plans to continue its integrated #PassTheLove campaign, an innovative, socially-powered movement which began in 2014 and became the company's largest multi-brand program to date.
"Our #PassTheLove campaign proved the power of soccer to help our brands score with consumers, and we plan to make this year even bigger," said Chriss.
About Mondelez International:
Mondelez International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDLZ) is a global snacking powerhouse, with 2013 revenue of $35 billion. Creating delicious moments of joy in 165 countries, Mondelez International is a world leader in chocolate, biscuits, gum, candy, coffee and powdered beverages, with billion-dollar brands such as Cadbury, Cadbury Dairy Milk and Milka chocolate, Jacobs coffee, Oreo, Honey Maid, LU and Nabisco biscuits, Tang powdered beverages and Trident gum. Mondelez International is a proud member of the Standard and Poor's 500, NASDAQ 100 and Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Visit www.mondelezinternational.com and www.facebook.com/mondelezinternational.
About Major League Soccer:
Major League Soccer kicked off its 20th season on March 6, featuring 20 clubs throughout the United States and Canada. The 2015 season features the most comprehensive U.S. media rights partnership in the history of the league, as eight-year agreements with ESPN, FOX Sports and Univision Deportes have commenced. The 2015 regular season schedule can be viewed here. For more information about MLS, visit www.MLSsoccer.com.