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SNICKERS AND UNITED STATES YOUTH SOCCER ASSOCIATION KICK OFF ANNUAL NATIONAL YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP WITH 20-YEAR AGREEMENT

 -- Sponsorship a first for nation's largest growing youth sport --
 PHOENIX, July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- SNICKERS Brand, the Official Snack Food of World Cup USA 1994, and U.S. YOUTH SOCCER today signed a 20-year agreement to sponsor the premier youth soccer tournament in the United States.
 Effective immediately, SNICKERS assumes title sponsorship of the U.S. YOUTH SOCCER National Championship, which is renamed the SNICKERS U.S. YOUTH SOCCER National Championship ("SNICKERS Cup").
 The agreement was signed at the opening ceremonies of the ("SNICKERS Cup") in Phoenix, where over 450 soccer stars of the future are gathered this week to compete for youth soccer's annual national trophies.
 Soccer, the most popular sport in the world, is played in ever- increasing numbers in the United States. The game is the second most popular youth team sport played by children under 12 years of age (basketball is number one). Among athletes under 18, soccer topped hockey, football and even baseball, the nation's pastime, in number of participants. Additionally, this popular sport is played by everyone -- 40 percent of its regular players are female.
 Hank Steinbrecher, executive director of U.S. Soccer Federation, hailed the SNICKERS sponsorship as "the biggest sponsorship in the history of soccer in the United States. The agreement extends to state and regional tournaments leading to the championships we are playing this week and is a first in its promotion of youth soccer on a national and grassroots basis at all skill levels."
 U.S. YOUTH SOCCER is the largest, all-inclusive governing body of youth soccer in this country with 55-member state associations and more than 1.8 million registered players 19 years of age or younger.
 "This is truly a great day for youth soccer in America," said Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia, chairman, U.S. YOUTH SOCCER. "(`SNICKERS Cup') is the jewel in our crown, helping to raise U.S. soccer to a new level, and taking us well along the way to becoming the pre-eminent youth sports organization in the United States."
 "Support of U.S. YOUTH SOCCER coincides with M&M/MARS and SNICKERS Brand's long-term commitment to encouraging athletic excellence," said Mary Ellen Dougherty, M&M/MARS spokesperson. "In the same spirit that SNICKERS has provided support to our Olympics athletes, we are committed to encouraging the growth of youth soccer in the United States, starting now through the World Cup 1994 games and well beyond.
 "SNICKERS Brand, the number one candy bar in America, is proud to be teamed with U.S. YOUTH SOCCER to sponsor the (`SNICKERS Cup'), a national championship which attracts youth athletes of all ages as they `reach for satisfaction,'" said Dougherty.
 SNICKERS Brand is manufactured by M&M/MARS, a division of Mars, Incorporated, headquartered in Hackettstown, N.J. M&M/MARS manufactures and markets snack foods.
 -0- 7/21/93
 /NOTE: SNICKERS is a registered trademark./
 /CONTACT: Susan Sullivan of the GCI Group, 212-546-1752, for M&M/MARS/


CO: U.S. YOUTH SOCCER; M&M/MARS; Mars, Incorporated ST: District of Columbia, New Jersey IN: SU:

IH-TW -- DC033 -- 4038 07/21/93 14:18 EDT
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Date:Jul 21, 1993
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