Volkswagen of America, the official automotive partner of Major League Soccer, has launched the Volkswagen Junior Masters, a 20-country, international youth soccer tournament.
Created by Volkswagen AG, the international competition is the first of its kind in the US. The winning team will have the honor of representing the US and enjoy an all expenses paid trip to the Volkswagen Junior World Master Finals in May 2010 prior to the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
The Volkswagen Junior Masters tournament runs from through October 2009 and builds upon the company's global commitment to the sport.
"As a long-time global supporter of soccer, Volkswagen is taking its US soccer presence to new heights by giving young soccer players the chance to compete on the world stage," said Tim Ellis from Volkswagen of America.
The Volkswagen Junior Masters kicks off with preliminary tournaments across the East Coast beginning July 18 in Fort Dix, NJ and continuing on to: Downingtown, PA; Winston Salem, NC; Lancaster, PA; Richmond, VA; and, Parsippany, NJ on October 11.
Twelve teams from the preliminary tournaments will be invited to compete in the US finals in Washington, DC on October 17 - 18. All youth soccer clubs and school teams that meet the specified age requirements are eligible to participate in the Volkswagen Junior Masters. The winning US team will then go on to compete in the Volkswagen Junior World Master Finals against 19 other teams in Cape Town, South Africa May 26 - 30, 2010.
"Major League Soccer is proud to partner with Volkswagen on a tournament like the Junior Masters that encourages fun and competitive soccer, especially among younger players," said Kathy Carter, executive vice president of Soccer United Marketing.
Globally, Volkswagen has been a long time supporter of soccer. The brand is the title sponsor of Volkswagen arena in Wolfsburg and owns the VFL Wolfsburg football club at its global headquarters. In the US, Volkswagen of America is the official automotive partner of Major League Soccer and is a sponsor of DC United. The brand also recently launched the Footballers' Clubhaus presented by Volkswagen and MLS, a 19-city mobile marketing tour showcasing Volkswagen's product family at local youth soccer tournaments.