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03/24/2011 11:06 AM ET
Aquafina Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run program returns in 2011
"Official Skills Competition of Major League Baseball" will reach more than 600,000 youth this year
tickets for any Major League Baseball game
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Major League Baseball Properties and Aquafina today announced the 2011 Aquafina Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run, the "Official Youth Skills Competition of Major League Baseball," is underway with over 4,000 competitions planned to take place across North America. For a second year, a nationwide Girls Softball Division will be part of the program which allows girls to compete and advance separately from the boys throughout the competition, including the National Finals.

In 2010, the youth skills program reached more than 680,000 boys and girls between the ages of seven and 14, providing an integrated competition that recognizes individual excellence in core baseball and softball skills. Aquafina, the "Official Bottled Water of Major League Baseball," is in its fourth year sponsoring the grassroots program following its sister brand, Pepsi, the "Official Soft Drink of Major League Baseball," which was the title sponsor between 2002 and 2007.

Pitch, Hit & Run (PHR) invites youth to demonstrate their skills, competing in pitching, hitting and running abilities. PHR participants can advance through four levels of competition, beginning at the local level, which can be hosted by organizations, leagues, or volunteers within a community, and continuing through sectional and team competitions. All 30 MLB Clubs will host team championships at their ballparks on weekends from May 28 through June 26. The top competitors nationwide from each age group (7-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13-14) will advance to the 2011 Aquafina Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run National Finals during MLB All-Star Week in Phoenix, AZ.

"The Aquafina Pitch, Hit & Run program is a fun way for young people to improve their skills and remain active," said Lou Koskovolis, Senior Vice President, Corporate Sales and Marketing, Major League Baseball. "Growing youth participation in baseball and softball is important to Major League Baseball and our Clubs. Thanks to the support of Aquafina, the Pitch, Hit & Run program continues to bring the games of baseball and softball to more boys and girls every year."

"Aquafina is excited to once again sponsor the Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run program," said Jeff Dubiel, Vice President, Sports Marketing for PepsiCo Beverages Americas, which markets Aquafina. "Over the years this program has inspired millions of young people to lead more healthy, active lives - and have fun doing it."

This is the 15th year MLB has run a youth skills program. Information regarding dates, times and locations of local competitions as well as entry forms and other materials for the 2011 Aquafina Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run initiative are available online at www.MLB.com/PHR

About Aquafina Aquafina (www.aquafina.com) is a product of PepsiCo Beverages Americas (PBA), a division of PepsiCo. PepsiCo offers the world's largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that generate more than $1 billion in annual retail sales each. Our main businesses -- Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay, and Pepsi Cola -- also make hundreds of other enjoyable and wholesome foods and beverages that are respected household names throughout the world. With net revenues of approximately $60 billion, PepsiCo's people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for people and our planet, which we believe also means a more successful future for PepsiCo. We call this commitment Performance with Purpose: PepsiCo's promise to provide a wide range of foods and beverages for local tastes; to find innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment, including by conserving energy and water usage, and reducing packaging volume; to provide a great workplace for our associates; and to respect, support, and invest in the local communities where we operate. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.

About Major League Baseball Properties The Major League Baseball Clubs formed Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP) in 1966 as the Clubs' agent for marketing and trademark licensing and protection. Major League Baseball Properties is responsible for managing consumer licensing activities, developing national advertising campaigns, cultivating sponsorship opportunities with major consumer brands and corporations, growing the game and the business of baseball outside the United States and creating national marketing programs in conjunction with Clubs, broadcast rightsholders and national sponsors. MLBP also operates a full-service video and audio production unit (Major League Baseball Productions), a publishing division and stock photo licensing agency, and manages logistics for the All-Star Game and World Series as well as all other special events. For more information on Major League Baseball, log on to www.MLB.com.

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