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MLB Pitch, Hit & Run programs returns in 2012

Major League Baseball Properties and Aquafina today announced that the 2012 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 third 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 2011, the youth skills program reached more than 685,000 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 fifth 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.

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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 26 through June 24. The top competitors nationwide from each age group (7-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13-14) will advance to the 2012 Aquafina Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run National Finals during MLB All-Star Week in Kansas City, MO.

“We’re thankful for Aquafina’s support of the Pitch, Hit & Run program, which reaches more than half a million youngsters across North America,” said Lou Koskovolis, Senior Vice President, Corporate Sales and Marketing, Major League Baseball. “Through the Aquafina Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run program, Major League Baseball and our Clubs are encouraging young people to embrace and develop strong skills and healthy active lifestyles, both on and off the field.”

”We’re proud to be in our fifth year of partnership with Major League Baseball on the Pitch, Hit & Run program,” said Galit Cann, Senior Marketing Manager, Aquafina. “Providing today’s youth with an opportunity to be active and involved in their community is important to us and we look forward to this year’s competition.”

This is the 16th 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 2012 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 is a global food and beverage leader with net revenues of more than $65 billion and a product portfolio that includes 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales. Our main businesses – Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay and Pepsi-Cola – make hundreds of enjoyable foods and beverages that are loved throughout the world. 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 by conserving energy and water 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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