WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Each year the Danone Nations Cup, hosted by leading global food company Danone, brings together millions of children aged 10 to 12 from around the globe to compete in the world’s largest youth soccer tournament for this age range. 2017 is no exception, and with this year’s programming comes several exciting firsts.
The Danone Nations Cup World Final will be held in the U.S. for the first time in the tournament’s 18-year history. There are 2.5 million youth players from more than 34,000 schools and 11,000 clubs from 33 countries that take part in local, regional and then national Danone Nations Cup competitions, all vying for the one boys team and one girls team champion titles.
In addition to watching and participating in the 20 soccer matches being played throughout World Final day at Red Bull Arena, fans from the tri-state area and beyond will have the chance to take part in fun activities like soccer accuracy contests, educational games about the importance of an active and healthy lifestyle, sweepstakes, live concert and more.
Another exciting first, 2017 programming features an inaugural girl’s tournament, giving female players aged 10-12 from around the world the opportunity to play against other internationally recognized teams. The formation of the girls division enables players to participate in a global competition and learn about new cultures in their tournament travels – many leaving their hometowns for the first time.
“With our partners, it is our duty to continuously encourage the values of this tournament, which are built on fun, comradery, teamwork, tolerance and respect. We’re confident this year’s tournament will give players the opportunity not only to participate in an unforgettable day, but to build lasting relationships with other players from around the world,” said Emmanuel Faber, CEO of Danone. “And I am thrilled that for the first time ever the final of the Danone Nations Cup is being hosted in the U.S. where girls and boys soccer has an established and passionate fan base.”
Rounding out this year’s firsts, American retired soccer player, coach, two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women's World Cup Champion, Abby Wambach, has signed on to support teams throughout the year as the Danone Nations Cup first-ever U.S. ambassador. As part of this role, Wambach will attend this year’s tournament to meet participants from all over the world and cheer on the teams as they compete for the title of Danone Nations Cup champions. Also lending his expertise and soccer star power to this year’s programming is Zinédine Zidane, who has been the Global Ambassador for the tournament since 2003.
“The Danone Nations Cup is a special event that brings kids from around the globe together for an unforgettable experience, and I’m honored to be part of it,” said U.S. Ambassador Abby Wambach. “I remember playing in tournaments at that age – the friendships I made and skills I learned were invaluable, and went far beyond the soccer field. I’m thrilled to be representing the U.S., and even more excited about this year’s formation of the girl’s tournament.”
Independent of the Danone Nations Cup World Cup Final being played at Red Bull Arena, the New York Red Bulls organization has also established a community-driven marketing partnership with Dannon, a flagship brand of DanoneWave, the largest public benefit corporation in the US, based in White Plains, NY and Broomfield, CO. The “After School All-Stars Healthy Eating Program” will serve as a key activation point in the partnership. The Red Bulls will donate a co-branded, hand-operated mobile cart for the After School All-Stars to use in connection with its’ Healthy Eating initiative in New Jersey and New York. In addition, Dannon will present a title match at Red Bull Arena on August 25 when the Red Bulls face rival New York City Football Club.
For more information about the 2017 Danone Nations Cup, please visit: www.danonenationscup.com/, and make sure to follow the action on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or join in on the fun with #DNC2017.
About Danone (www.danone.com)
Dedicated to bringing health through food to as many people as possible, Danone is a leading global food company built on four business lines: Essential Dairy and Plant-Based Products, Early Life Nutrition, Waters and Medical Nutrition. Through its mission and dual commitment to business success and social progress, the company aims to build a healthier future, thanks to better health, better lives and a better world, for all its stakeholders—its more than 100,000 employees, consumers, customers, suppliers, shareholders and all the communities with which it engages. With our products being present in over 130 markets, Danone generated sales of approximately €22 billion in 2016. Danone’s brand portfolio includes both international brands (Activia, Actimel, Alpro, Danette, Danonino, Danio, evian, Volvic, Nutrilon/Aptamil, Nutricia) and local brands (Aqua, Blédina, Cow & Gate, Bonafont, Horizon Organic, Mizone, Oikos, Prostokvashino, Silk, Vega). Listed on Euronext Paris and on the OTCQX market via an ADR (American Depositary Receipt) program, Danone is a component stock of leading social responsibility indexes including the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, Vigeo, the Ethibel Sustainability Index, MSCI Global Sustainability, MSCI Global SRI Indexes and the FTSE4Good Index.