Schools across the nation are facing tremendous financial pressure: A recent DonorsChoose survey of coaches and teachers revealed 70% anticipate a decrease in sports funding, meaning school sports are at risk.

As sports teach kids countless lifetime skills like leadership, teamwork and confidence, Tony the Tiger is redoubling his commitment to Mission Tiger, setting an ambitious goal to help 1 million kids gain better access to sports by the end of 2021.

A goal this big requires teamwork — and Tony’s tapping his Mission Tiger teammate and Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes superfan Shaquille O'Neal for an assist. Together, they’re encouraging fans to join the mission to help close the middle school sports funding gap.

The dynamic duo scored points with middle schoolers in Philadelphia in May. Shaq joined Tony on a Zoom call to announce a game-changing donation to help build an on-campus sports court that salvaged the teams’ home court advantage.

“I’m a lifelong fan of Tony and Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, so when I got the call to give the Young Scholars Charter School kids in Philly the chance to play, it was a no-brainer for me to join Tony’s team,” O’Neal said. “Sports can be such a great teaching tool for youngsters, which is why I’m committed to helping Tony provide kids with better access to an outlet that was so important for me.”

THE MISSION CONTINUES

Past economic downturns led to school sport budget cuts that took away kids’ opportunities. While underfunded middle school sports were a reality before 2020, now coaches and teachers must tackle new challenges to get kids back in the game. Along with preparing for the needs of traditional sports, new training requirements include virtual coaching and personalized equipment. And kids are experiencing real repercussions now, because an average student athlete spends 6.4 fewer hours playing sports when compared to previous years.

“Needs have grown exponentially and Mission Tiger continues to be part of the solution,” said Brant Wheaton, marketing director of Kellogg U.S. ready-to-eat cereal segment. “This year, countless sport seasons were cut short and kids are missing out on the benefits of school sports, and that is why we’re doubling down on our Mission Tiger commitment. To help get more kids back in the game, Tony and Shaq are asking teachers and coaches to visit MissionTiger.com and request their sports or gym class needs — whether virtual or in person.”

Since 2019, Mission Tiger has helped more than 415,000 middle schoolers coast to coast gain better access to sports by repaving courts, refurbishing sports facilities, providing new training equipment and more. To help alleviate recent school sports’ challenges, teachers, coaches and administrators can visit MissionTiger.com to request funds for their school sports’ needs. Fans can help schools in their local communities by joining the Mission, grabbing a box and uploading their receipt to Kellogg’s Family Rewards via MissionTiger.com to spark a $2 donation; and to further support these school sports projects, visit DonorsChoose.org/MissionTiger where Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes will match any donation.

Stay tuned for what Shaq and Tony have planned in the new year, and in the meantime, grab a spoon and support the Mission by visiting MissionTiger.com.

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