Major League Soccer has signed a partnership with America's Dairy Farmers and Milk Processors that makes "Milk" an "Official Sponsor" of MLS and its 12 teams through the 2001 season with exclusive renewal options, MLS Vice President of Corporate Partnerships Tom Haidinger announced today.

It's first-ever sponsorship of a professional sports league, Milk begins its MLS partnership at the 2000 MLS All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio including corporate identification on the East All-Star jersey. In addition to participating in MLS national grassroots initiatives emphasizing the nutritional value of milk, Milk will have MLS players appear in the national 'got milk?®' advertising campaign at the beginning of next year.

"MLS is thrilled to announce Milk as the league's newest Official Sponsor," said Haidinger. "We look forward to incorporating Milk into our grassroots marketing programs to reach the millions of soccer families in the United States along with utilizing some of our players in the ever-popular `got milk?®' media campaign."

"We are extremely excited to sponsor Major League Soccer. Soccer is quickly becoming America's family sport and we welcome the opportunity to reach out to parents and children of all ages to educate them on the importance of a balanced, nutritious diet that includes milk," said Kurt Graetzer, Vice President, Milk Education Program. "Milk is the original sports drink with nine essential vitamins and minerals, and we hope this sponsorship will provide an opportunity to remind parents and kids that strong bones and muscles start with milk."

As an official sponsor of MLS, Milk will receive full marketing and promotional rights as a member of the MLS corporate family, including exposure on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2, regional cable sports networks, field boards, clock wraps, title nights, uniform sponsorship, advertisements in special event game programs, tickets, MLS marks and player appearances.

Milk joins the MLS corporate family including: Official Sponsors - Aquafina, Budweiser, Honda, Kellogg's, MasterCard, New York Life, Pepsi, Snickers, U.S. Soccer Foundation and Yahoo!; Official Suppliers - adidas, Atletica, Kappa, Nike and Umbro; Corporate Partners - Bestfoods, BIC, Capital One, Irish Spring Aloe, LEGO and; and Suppliers - Allsport Photography,, BD products, Kwik Goal and Official Sports International.

The `got milk?®' Milk Mustache marketing campaign is jointly funded by the nation's fluid milk processors and America's dairy farmers. The multi-faceted campaign was initiated to educate consumers and correct misconceptions about milk. A series of educational brochures for consumers is available by calling 1-800-WHY-MILK or by visiting the milk Web site at `got milk?®' is licensed by Dairy Management Inc.(TM) (DMI) and the National Fluid Milk Processor Education Board. DMI and state, regional and international organizations manage the American Dairy Association®, the National Dairy Council® and the U.S. Dairy Export Council®. The MilkPEP program was developed under the guidance of the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board, an organization funded by U.S. milk processors.

Celebrating its fifth season in 2000, Major League Soccer features many top stars from the United States and around the world, and is America's only Division I outdoor professional soccer league. The 12 teams that comprise MLS are: the Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, Dallas Burn, D.C. United, Kansas City Wizards, Los Angeles Galaxy, MetroStars, Miami Fusion, New England Revolution, San Jose Earthquakes and the Tampa Bay Mutiny.