Wheaties Honors Cardinals Slugger Albert Pujols
ST. LOUIS--April 7, 2005--
New special-edition package hits shelves this week, kicks off new Wheaties-MLB partnership
Albert Pujols was honored today by Wheaties, “The Breakfast of Champions,” with a new, limited-edition package featuring the St. Louis Cardinals’ power-hitting first baseman. The package was unveiled today at a press conference at Busch Stadium.
Pujols enters his fifth Major League season as the only player in MLB history to hit over .300 with at least 30 home runs, 100 RBI, and 100 runs scored in each of his first four seasons. He won the 2001 National League Rookie of the Year Award and finished second in National League MVP voting in both 2002 and 2003. Pujols also earned the batting title in 2003 with a .359 batting average, is a three time MLB All-Star, and was named MVP of the 2004 National League Championship Series.
“It’s a great honor for me to be on the cover of the Wheaties box,” Pujols said. “I’m very excited about sharing the Wheaties box with my family.”
“Through his first four years in the league, Albert Pujols clearly has distinguished himself as one of the top players in Major League Baseball,” said Wheaties Marketing Manager Eric Treschuk. “He is truly one of the brightest stars in the game today, and the sky is the limit for how good he can become. His addition to the Wheaties family continues our rich tradition of honoring great athletes.”
“We are pleased to see Wheaties embracing the opening day platform as the initial activation vehicle of its new Major League Baseball sponsorship,” said John Brody, Senior Vice President, Corporate Sales and Marketing, Major League Baseball Properties. “We congratulate Albert Pujols on this tremendous honor and look forward to seeing other worthy current and former Major League Baseball stars on Wheaties boxes throughout the season.”
The new 12-ounce Pujols Wheaties box will be available nationally beginning this week, and marks the first activation of Wheaties’ new sponsorship agreement with Major League Baseball Properties, which makes Wheaties “The Official Breakfast Cereal of Major League Baseball.”
Among other Cardinals to have appeared on the Wheaties box are Paul and Dizzy Dean, Pepper Martin, Joe Medwick, Johnny Mize, Marty Marion, Stan Musial and Ozzie Smith.
Major League Baseball and Wheaties have always enjoyed close ties, and dozens of baseball players have appeared on the fabled orange Wheaties box throughout the years. In 1934, New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig became the first athlete ever to appear on a Wheaties box. Yankees All-Star shortstop Tom Tresh became the first baseball player to appear on the front of the package in 1964. In addition, eight individual MLB teams have appeared on the front of Wheaties boxes, with the 1987 World Series Champion Minnesota Twins being the first team to earn that honor.
Wheaties sponsored the first televised commercial sports broadcast on August 29, 1939, when NBC presented a Cincinnati Reds vs. Brooklyn Dodgers broadcast for some 500 television owners in New York City, with the late Red Barber calling the game.
Major League Baseball stars who have endorsed the cereal through the years include: Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Lefty Grove, Carl Hubbell, Joe Cronin, Jimmie Foxx, Mel Ott, Eddie Stanky, Bob Feller, Ted Williams, Hank Greenberg, Stan Musial, Lou Boudreau, Phil Rizzuto, Jackie Robinson, Hal Newhouser, Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese, Warren Spahn, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Johnny Bench, Hank Aaron, Cal Ripken, Jr. and Joe Torre. In fact, 46 of the 51 players selected for the 1939 Major League Baseball All-Star Game endorsed Wheaties.
About Major League Baseball Properties
The Major League Baseball Clubs formed Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP) in 1966 as the Club’s agent for marketing and trademark licensing and protection. Major League Baseball Properties is responsible for managing consumer licensing activities, developing national advertising campaigns, cultivating sponsorship opportunities with major consumer brands and corporations, growing the game and the business of baseball outside the United States and creating national marketing programs in conjunction with Clubs, broadcast rightsholders and national sponsors. MLBP also operates a full-service video and audio production unit (Major League Baseball Productions), a publishing division and stock photo licensing agency, and manages logistics for the All-Star Game and World Series as well as all other special events. For more information about Major League Baseball, log on to www.MLB.com.
About Wheaties, “The Breakfast of Champions”
Launched in 1924, Wheaties is the No. 1 whole-grain wheat flaked breakfast cereal in the country. The brand began its association with sports in the mid-1930s with a sign on the left field wall at Nicollet Park near downtown Minneapolis. General Mills’ broadcast deal with the minor league Minneapolis Millers on WCCO Radio included the large signboard that Wheaties would use to introduce its new ad slogan: “Wheaties--The Breakfast of Champions.” From that rather humble beginning, Wheaties has built a heritage that includes many of the greatest athletes of all time. Learn more at www.Wheaties.com.
THE BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS(R) AND WHEATIES(R) ARE REGISTERED TRADEMARKS OF GENERAL MILLS.
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