Some automotive brands have a natural association with a sport. From seemingly the very beginning, Chevrolet has been a big supporter of baseball, Subaru has been into rally racing, and Ferrari is most commonly associated with luxurious, pretty, and sensual speed accomplished on a coast. In the case of Volkswagen, its sport of choice is soccer. So it should come as little surprise, then, that Volkswagen of America has announced a youth soccer championship for 2014 called the Volkswagen Junior Masters Soccer.
As part of the program, U-12 (under 12) boys teams in ten markets across the country will compete in regional tournaments between April and June for a chance to contend in the national tournament, which will take place in Portland on August 4-6. The national tournament, in fact, will be played in conjunction with the Major League Soccer (MLS) All-Star match on August 6.
Nine of this year’s ten participating regional tournament markets have been confirmed. A tenth market will be announced in the coming weeks.
- Chicago: April 26-28
- Los Angeles: May 3-4
- Atlanta: May 16-18
- Boston: May 23-27
- San Antonio: May 24-25
- Denver: May 31-June 1
- Seattle: June 13-15
- Portland: June 27-29
- Philadelphia: June 28-29
“Volkswagen is a devoted supporter of American soccer and has sponsored many grassroots youth soccer tournaments throughout the United States,” said Vinay Shahani, vice president marketing, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “Through these efforts, Volkswagen is providing the nation’s most talented and passionate athletes the premier opportunity to compete and perform at a higher level.”
Former professional soccer player and member of the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame,
John Harkes, will serve as the spokesperson for Volkswagen Junior Masters. He will travel to regional and national tournaments in his 2014 Volkswagen Touareg to host activities, meet the teams and, ultimately, crown the National Champions.
In addition, the 2013 Junior Masters National Champions, SoCal United, will travel to Rome, Italy this May to compete in the Volkswagen Junior World Masters. SoCal United will compete against 25 other national teams in the biennial international tournament that has taken place since 2006. The team was named the 2013 Volkswagen Junior Masters National Champions last summer after defeating 15 other U-12 boys division teams in Overland Park, Kansas.
To note, Volkswagen is also the official automotive partner of Major League Soccer in the U.S. And on a global level, the automaker is the title sponsor of the Volkswagen Arena in Wolfsburg, Germany, and owns the VfL Wolfsburg football club at its global headquarters.
Current updates on the Volkswagen Junior Masters tournaments will be available at vw.com/juniormasters.