BATTLE CREEK, Mich., Nov. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Schools across the nation are facing tremendous financial pressure: A recent DonorsChoose survey of coaches and teachers revealed 70% anticipate a decrease in sports funding, meaning school sports are at risk.1 As sports teach kids countless lifetime skills like leadership, teamwork and confidence, Tony the Tiger® is redoubling his commitment to Mission Tiger,™ setting an ambitious goal to help 1 million kids gain better access to sports by the end of 2021.
A goal this big requires teamwork — and Tony's tapping his Mission Tiger teammate and Kellogg's Frosted Flakes® superfan Shaquille O'Neal for an assist. Together, they're encouraging fans to join the mission to help close the middle school sports funding gap.
The dynamic duo scored points with middle schoolers in Philadelphia in May. Shaq joined Tony on a Zoom call to announce a game-changing donation to help build an on-campus sports court that salvaged the teams' home court advantage.
"I'm a lifelong fan of Tony and Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, so when I got the call to give the Young Scholars Charter School kids in Philly the chance to play, it was a no-brainer for me to join Tony's team," O'Neal said. "Sports can be such a great teaching tool for youngsters, which is why I'm committed to helping Tony provide kids with better access to an outlet that was so important for me."
THE MISSION CONTINUES
Past economic downturns2 led to school sport budget cuts that took away kids' opportunities. While underfunded middle school sports were a reality before 2020, now coaches and teachers must tackle new challenges to get kids back in the game. Along with preparing for the needs of traditional sports, new training requirements include virtual coaching and personalized equipment. And kids are experiencing real repercussions now, because an average student athlete spends 6.4 fewer hours playing sports when compared to previous years.3
"Needs have grown exponentially and Mission Tiger continues to be part of the solution," said Brant Wheaton, marketing director of Kellogg U.S. ready-to-eat cereal segment. "This year, countless sport seasons were cut short and kids are missing out on the benefits of school sports, and that is why we're doubling down on our Mission Tiger commitment. To help get more kids back in the game, Tony and Shaq are asking teachers and coaches to visit MissionTiger.com and request their sports or gym class needs — whether virtual or in person."
Since 2019, Mission Tiger has helped more than 415,000 middle schoolers coast to coast gain better access to sports by repaving courts, refurbishing sports facilities, providing new training equipment and more. To help alleviate recent school sports' challenges, teachers, coaches and administrators can visit MissionTiger.com to request funds for their school sports' needs. Fans can help schools in their local communities by joining the Mission, grabbing a box and uploading their receipt to Kellogg's Family Rewards® via MissionTiger.com to spark a $2 donation*; and to further support these school sports projects, visit DonorsChoose.org/MissionTiger where Kellogg's Frosted Flakes will match any donation.
Stay tuned for what Shaq and Tony have planned in the new year, and in the meantime, grab a spoon and support the Mission by visiting MissionTiger.com.
About Kellogg's Frosted Flakes® Mission Tiger™
Mission Tiger launched in August 2019 with a $1 million commitment to DonorsChoose, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting public schools nationwide. For every Kellogg's Frosted Flakes® box purchased, a $2 donation* is sparked by uploading a receipt to Kellogg's Family Rewards™ via MissionTiger.com. Thanks to fans coast to coast, students at middle schools nationwide have better access to play sports. If a favorite athletic program has been cut or a local team needs new uniforms, visit MissionTiger.com today to see requests from middle schools seeking funds and join our team. Mission Tiger middle school sports projects are fulfilled by Tony's partner, DonorsChoose.
*Kellogg is donating $2 per purchase to DonorsChoose with Kellogg's Frosted Flakes receipt upload. Minimum donation $500,000; maximum $1,000,000. Go to MissionTiger.com for instructions. Applies to purchases between 8/6/20 and 12/31/21; must upload within 30 days of purchase.
About Kellogg Company
At Kellogg Company (NYSE: K), we strive to enrich and delight the world through foods and brands that matter. Our beloved brands include Pringles®, Cheez-It®, Special K®, Kellogg's Frosted Flakes®, Pop-Tarts®, Kellogg's Corn Flakes®, Rice Krispies®, Eggo®, Mini-Wheats®, Kashi®, RXBAR®, MorningStar Farms® and more. Net sales in 2019 were approximately $13.6 billion, comprised principally of snacks and convenience foods like cereal and frozen foods. Kellogg brands are beloved in markets around the world. We are also a company with Heart & Soul, committed to creating Better Days for 3 billion people by the end of 2030 through our Kellogg's® Better Days global purpose platform. Visit KelloggCompany.com or OpenforBreakfast.com.
DonorsChoose is the leading way to give to public schools. Since 2000, more than 4.6 million people and partners have contributed $1 billion to support 1.8 million teacher requests for classroom resources and experiences. As the most trusted crowdfunding platform for teachers, donors, and district administrators alike, DonorsChoose vets each request, ships the funded resources directly to the classroom, and provides thank-you's and reporting to donors and school leaders. Charity Navigator and GuideStar have awarded DonorsChoose, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, their highest ratings for transparency and accountability. For more information, visit donorschoose.org.
About Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O'Neal is one of the world's most successful athlete-turned-businessman, whose accomplishments both on and off the court have translated into a highly sought-after consumer brand. As an entrepreneur, sports analyst, DJ, restaurateur, and brand ambassador, Shaquille O'Neal's signature "Business of Fun" mantra resonates throughout each of his countless endeavors.
The 15-time NBA All-Star's unprecedented athletic career spanned nearly two decades and earned him countless awards and honors, including NBA Most Valuable Player, NBA Rookie of the Year, four NBA Championships and a First Ballot NBA Hall of Famer. Currently, O'Neal is an analyst on TNT's Emmy Award-winning "Inside the NBA."
O'Neal, who has a PhD in Leadership and Education, gives back through a number of annual philanthropic programs including Shaq to School, Shaqsgiving, and Shaq a Claus.
The launch of his Las Vegas eatery Big Chicken has further elevated Shaquille's status as he has positioned himself as a successful restaurateur. A second Big Chicken location is open in Glendale, CA and additional locations will debut at sea on Carnival Cruise Lines Radiance and Mardi Gras.
1 Most teachers (70%) are anticipating a decrease in sports funding, which compounds safety concerns about shared equipment and student access to training tools, according to a September 2020 DonorsChoose survey of 400 coaches and teachers.
2 Youth sports participation dropped to 45% following the 2008 recession and declined to 38% by 2014, according to the Aspen Institute.
3 Kids are spending 7.2 hours per week playing sports, down from 13.6 before spring 2020, according to the Aspen Institute's recent survey of 1,103 parents with sport-playing kids aged 6-18.