Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Dining through the Decades

Part IX: Supporting youth sports by sponsoring the Schwan’s USA CUP® tournament

Sept. 6, 2017 — In 1998, our company embarked on a new opportunity that allowed us to be a part of a major family-oriented community event and the largest youth soccer tournament in the western hemisphere — the Schwan’s USA CUP® tournament.

The tournament originally began in 1985, when the Sons of Norway initiated the “USA CUP” by inviting several Norwegian teams to play in Minnesota — a state with many Scandinavian roots. The first USA CUP featured more than 1,500 players on 69 teams, and represented 51 local, 11 international and six out-of-state teams. The original site for the tournament was the Blaine Soccer Complex, and the same fields are still used for Schwan’s USA CUP games.

In 1990, the National Sports Center (NSC) opened and tournament ownership was transferred to the NSC and most games were moved to the larger NSC campus.

Today, the tournament is a nine-day event hosted in Blaine, Minnesota, at the NSC. Each year, the event attracts several media outlets and sports news outlets from around the country. The event includes a weekend tournament, followed by the weeklong Schwan’s USA CUP tournament.

In our first year of participating in 1998, there were more than 1,300 volunteers who helped out during the event, greeting international teams at the airport, chaperoning special events and taking care of countless other chores. Nearly 900 youth soccer teams competed in the tournament.

The tournament has grown quite a bit since then.

This summer, a total of 15,972 participants from 1,168 teams competed during the Schwan’s USA CUP tournament. Participating teams were from 17 states, five Canadian provinces and 15 countries. There were also referees from 18 countries.

As part of our sponsorship for the tournament, Schwan’s Home Service also donates thousands of Schwan’s® novelties to the event. The novelties are handed out each year during events like the Olympic-style opening ceremony, which is the one time all participating teams are gathered together. Additional activities this year included a “Schwan’s Fan Village” where our company gave out samples of Edwards® pie, Red Baron® pizza, Pagoda® egg rolls and a variety of Schwan’s ice cream novelties.

This was the 33rd anniversary of the soccer tournament and the 19th consecutive year our company sponsored the event. Deemed as “America’s greatest youth soccer event,” the Schwan’s USA CUP tournament also brings significant tourism revenue to the state of Minnesota.

The 600-acre National Sports Center and Blaine Soccer Complex make up the largest contiguous soccer complex in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, with 64 fields at one site. The Sports Center also includes a soccer stadium, the Schwan’s Super Rink ice arena, a cycling velodrome, an indoor sports hall, a dormitory with a cafeteria and a PGA-designed National Youth Golf Center and golf course.

For more information about the Schwan’s USA CUP tournament, visit, or click here for an article about this year’s event.

“Dining through the Decades is a blog series commemorating our company’s 65 years of commitment, quality, growth and service with customers, consumers and employees all across the United States. We invite you to stay tuned throughout the year as we continue to share some of our company’s best stories and highlights of how we got to where we are now.”

To view more Dining through the Decades features, visit:

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