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USA CUP honors Schwan’s 21 years of sponsorship with the 2018 Founders’ Award

07/02/2018, 1:30pm CDT
By Mary Brickner

Schwan’s USA CUP has a storied 33-year history. From its humble beginnings as the Sons of Norway tournament to becoming the largest youth soccer tournament in the Western Hemisphere, the Founders’ Award honors those who have had a long investment in making USA CUP what it is today.

The award has been given to all sorts of unique and dedicated individuals, including a Dutchman who runs transportation and knows the area better than most locals, a dedicated medical staff that provides real-life experience to high school students, and an 80-something year old referee who has been working the tournament since its beginning.

This year, however, is a little different. The growth of USA CUP that has set the stage for those colorful characters and provided lifelong memories for athletes around the world would not have been possible without the company that literally gave the tournament the name it has today: Schwan’s.


The Schwan's mascot visited campus during the 2005 USA CUP tournament.

Schwan’s has been a sponsor of USA CUP since 1998, and the company has welcomed over 15,000 teams from 69 countries and 48 states over its 21-year history with the tournament.

“We’ve partnered with USA CUP for more than 20 years because this experience makes a huge difference in these young athletes lives and gives them the opportunity to learn valuable life lessons and share in those experiences with other kids from around the world,” said Pat Anderson, vice president of marketing and sales for Schwan’s.


The Cheyenne Sting accept their Schwan's Cares About Soccer Sweepstakes prize at the 2016 Opening Ceremonies.

Schwan’s impact goes beyond the tournament’s name, the free ice cream treats sprinkled throughout campus, and the activities and samples they have provided in the Hub over the years. Programs like the Schwan’s Cares About Soccer Sweepstakes have made an impact on young players.

“Five years ago, we started a fundraising sweepstakes called Schwan’s Cares About Soccer to help youth soccer clubs with their tournament fees,” Anderson said. “Each year, we select one team that has raised more than $500 during their fundraiser. These kids work so hard throughout the season and we want to reward them for that.”

Schwan’s covers the team fees for that lucky team.


The Schwan's booth provided free food samples and yard games to attendees at 2017 USA CUP.

Since the beginning of the Schwan’s partnership, over 4 million people have attended the tournament. From Jamaica to Japan, USA CUP has been a melting pot of special stories and unforgettable moments. Schwan’s has set the stage for creating an atmosphere that is more than just a soccer tournament, and USA CUP would not be where it is today without its commitment.

Tag(s): NSC Blog