Passions Run High At Copa Latina
(March 11, 2004) — Last month Uniroyal was involved in one of the nation's most exciting and unique soccer tournaments Copa Latina.
Some people say it's like a mini World Cup, but however you describe it; this tournament in Miami creates plenty of fervor in one of America's most passionate soccer communities. Each February, 32 elite adult soccer teams representing Miami's myriad of communities are invited to participate in a four-weekend tournament.
From the opening ceremony when the teams parade with their national flags to the final game, Miami's multi-cultural community is out in force dancing to steel drums and tambourines, chanting and cheering their teams on. And the soccer is excellent! Copa Latina has provided a tremendous vehicle for inspiring young players to find their way to the professional ranks and for former national stars to relive past glories.
Highlights for Uniroyal, in its second year as the official tire of Copa Latina, include the ball giveaway night when 1,500 youngsters get a free soccer ball from Uniroyal and the halftime contest in which spectators attempt to kick a soccer ball through a Uniroyal® tire for prizes.
"We really enjoy our involvement with Copa Latina because it provides affordable family fun and brings a very diverse group of people together to share in their common passion for soccer," said Tom Jupena of Uniroyal.
While it is definitely one of the most spirited events, Copa Latina is just one element of Uniroyal's comprehensive support program for soccer across America. This past fall, Uniroyal and its dealers provided free equipment and raised funds for soccer leagues in more than 750 communities nationwide, resulting in a total donation exceeding $1.25 million.
More than 120,000 soccer families visited 980 Uniroyal dealer locations for free soccer balls. In addition, each store held a 30-day fundraising promotion for their local soccer league, with $2 for every Uniroyal® tire sold to the general public donated to the league. Community soccer leagues have used the financial donations to fund scholarships for children, field maintenance, new field development and general operational expenses.
Since launching the comprehensive support program in Fall 2000, Uniroyal and its network of independent dealers have donated more than $5 million in funds and equipment to local leagues and soccer organizations nationwide. Uniroyal has enlisted the support of U.S. national team captain Julie Foudy to assist in the development and promotion of its youth soccer initiatives.