REAL Salt Lake's Nick Rimando holds the championship cup.
After bringing the State of Utah its first major league sports title last November, Real Salt Lake is partnering with KUTV 2 (CBS), KALL 700 Sports, Strong Automotive, Siegfried & Jensen and the state's KFC Restaurants to tour the prize of its MLS Cup crown - the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy - for Utahns far and wide via a month-long tour of 35 locations throughout the Beehive State.
Real Salt Lake's "Championship Cup Tour" spans the month of February, kicking off Feb. 1, with the tour launching from KUTV 2 News This Morning's Gallivan Center studio and continuing onto Utah's remaining 28 counties.
"Since we brought the MLS Cup back from Seattle in November, we have wanted to ensure that our fans from all across the State of Utah feel pride and ownership in what the club has achieved," said Real Salt Lake President Bill Manning. "Fostering and nurturing the support of all Utahns is of the utmost importance to us, and we hope this tour can provide a small measure of thanks to our followers from Logan, to St. George, to all points in between."
During February's "Championship Cup Tour," members of the Real Salt Lake organization will usher North American soccer's top prize in a tour-theme-wrapped Volkswagen Routan across the Beehive State, a journey fans worldwide will be able to follow on www.RealSaltLake.com; the team's Behind the Shield blog, located at www.RSLtotheCore.com; RSL's Facebook fan page at www.Facebook.com/RealSaltLake; daily KUTV 2 News weather updates; clicking the Cup icon on the Sports page at www.Connect2Utah.com; and over the radio airwaves via KALL 700 Sports' hourly sports updates.
Fans at stops along the route will be able to take photos with the MLS Cup trophy and mascot Leo the Lion, take home giveaway items, and spin the RSL Prize Wheel for a chance to win RSL merchandise and 2009 MLS Cup Championship memorabilia.
KUTV 2 will also host an "Enter 2 Win" opportunity at each tour stop, with the Grand Prize of a 32" flat-screen television awarded on-air live by an RSL player or coach on the Feb. 28 edition of Talkin' Sports at 10:35 p.m. MT.
The "Championship Cup Tour" tour is slated to pass through some of Utah's most iconic locations, with a stop to experience the "Best Snow on Earth" at Brian Head Ski Resort, a photo opportunity at the famed Delicate Arch, a visit to the original Utah Territory Capital, and a ride down the bobsled track at Olympic Park, all on the itinerary.
While on the tour, Real Salt Lake's representatives will be visiting with youth soccer clubs and speaking at dozens of school assemblies to give the team's youngest fans the chance to see what can be achieved by setting goals and putting in the hard work necessary to achieve them, themes that have been embodied in RSL Head Coach Jason Kreis' "Fortune Favors the Bold" and "The Team is the Star" mantras since he stepped from the field to the sideline in 2007.
Fans that take part in the tour can also be part of its legacy by uploading their photos with the Cup to Real Salt Lake's "Flickr" photo gallery page online, located at http://www.flickr.com/photos/realsaltlake/. The photos assembled will be included in a collage chronicling the "Championship Cup Tour" statewide trek, which will be housed at Rio Tinto Stadium during the team's upcoming 2010 season. Real Salt Lake will open up the home portion of its title defense on April 10, in Sandy against Seattle Sounders FC, a game for which fans can purchase a limited amount of $14 "two-for-one" ticket vouchers at 20 participating KFC Restaurants located along the tour route, a complete list of which can be found on the tour's home page on www.RealSaltLake.com.
Week one: Feb. 1: Kickoff in Salt Lake, Feb. 3: Castle Dale. REAL will be in Castle Dale - 8:30 - 10 a.m. - Fire truck ride to city hall at 8:30 a.m. from Stewarts to City Hall, receive the key to the city from Mayor Neal Peacock; Castle Dale Elementary School assembly; Emery High School assembly. For any fans wanting to see the MLS Cup and/or take photos with it, REAL would suggest gathering at City Hall for the Key ceremony.