Amongst all the events going on for Bimbo this past summer, Danielle and I flew out to Philadelphia to prepare for the culmination of it all: the 2015 Bimbo Champions Cup at PPL Park, home of the Philadelphia Union. Over the last several months, U12 boys and girls teams across the country have been competing in their respective Bimbo B-Active Cup’s for their chance to represent team U.S.A. in Philadelphia; where they would play against the the U12 winners from Bimbo’s renowned Futbolito tournament in Mexico. This event has been in the making since January, so Danielle and I were excited to get everything kicked off.
On Saturday, August 8th, we met the U.S.A. and Mexico boys and girls teams at Six Flags, where they rode Kingda Ka–the fastest roller coaster in the country. Google it, it was awesome! Afterwords, we all headed back to the hotel for the Welcome Dinner, where we had a delicious and nutritious pre-game day meal. Although the kids were not from Philadelphia, they took an interest to the Union vs. Orlando City SC game that we had streaming in the front of the room. After dinner, Bimbo presented each team with a cozy sweatshirt. Little did they know this was the first of many gifts!
The day of the game, Danielle and I were up early to prepare. We presented the kids with their Bimbo Champions Cup uniforms at the team breakfast, and of course, their credentials to get into the stadium. Credentials are always a nice touch to give the kids that “VIP” feel.
When the kids, chaperones, and parents arrived at the stadium, we escorted them inside and to the locker rooms. As we walked, the group got sneak peaks of the field and all the Bimbo Champions Cup signage–it was fun to hear the “ooooh’s” and “ahhhh’s” as they were checking everything out. The Philadelphia Union staff did a fantastic job helping us make the stadium look great; from the Champions Cup LED’s and static field boards to the videoboard message from Union player Fernando Aristeguieta.
After a brief warm-up, the teams were led to the player’s tunnel where the professional teams do their walk out onto the field. There was a lot of excitement in the air, as several of the U.S.A. girls gave me high fives as they walked out for the national anthems of both countries. Once the games kicked off, Danielle and I disappeared back into the stadium to prepare the swag bags for each player courtesy of Bimbo.
The Mexico boys and U.S.A. girls were our Champions of the first Bimbo Champions Cup! Regardless of the scoreline, these kids had a mutual respect and love of the game…and it was really neat to see. We finished the day with a catered lunch in the Stadium Club, a photo and autograph session with Union star, Andrew Wenger, and talk from the Union’s nutritionist. After a hard fought game and a long weekend of activities and surprises, the kids departed for their hometowns with all smiles.
Needless to say, Danielle and I had a wonderful time with the kids. Regardless of winning or losing, the kids, chaperones and parents all felt like Champions; and deeply appreciated the experience that Bimbo provided these teams. That’s what grassroots events are all about!