TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 5, 2012) -
Editors Note: Photos for this release are available via Marketwire on the picture wire of The Canadian Press.
At 4:15 pm today, Toronto entered Guinness World Records® history with the largest soccer ball mosaic ever assembled. The new record was achieved during BMO's Score 1,000 event held at Yonge-Dundas Square in Downtown Toronto.
Working together, Torontonians and visitors carefully set 1288 soccer balls into place to form a 57.92m2 (624 ft2) mosaic depicting the red, white and blue BMO logo. The previous record was 47.7 m2 (513 ft2).
"What a triumph for the city of Toronto, for BMO employees, our partners and for Kids Help Phone," said Su McVey, Vice President, BMO Bank of Montreal. "This achievement gives everyone who participated a place in the record books and reinforces Toronto's standing as a world class city that knows how to have fun and how to help those in need."
BMO had committed to donate $10,000 to Kids Help Phone if the city could break the world record. The AIR MILES Reward Program and MasterCard Canada joined BMO, each pledging to match the bank's donation for a total donation of $30,000.
BMO is also donating the 1,288 soccer balls, which were used to create the record-breaking mosaic, to The Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Team Up Foundation, which will distribute the balls to youth across Canada as part of their effort to empower youth through sports and recreation.
Over the course of the day, BMO and its partners gave away:
- More than 100,000 AIR MILES reward miles;
- 20,000 free beverages and PayPass demo tags;
- 10,000 soccer stress balls;
- Thousands of free ice cream cones;
- 3,000 free barbecued hamburger sliders;
Thousands of visitors to Yonge-Dundas Square were entertained with:
- Opportunities to meet Kara Lang, former member of the Canadian National Women's Soccer Team and current Sportsnet personality, and Danny Dichio, former Toronto FC player and current TFC Senior Academy Team Coach;
- The incredible soccer ball acrobatic feats of six freestyle trick dribblers;
- BMO the Bear; and
- A visit from the 2011 BMO Team of the Week Champions, the Glen Shields Sun Devils girls' soccer team.
The BMO Score 1,000 event was held to draw attention to BMO's Gold AIR MILES MasterCard bonus offer. Until August 31, 2012, BMO is offering 1,000 Bonus AIR MILES reward miles to all new BMO Gold AIR MILES MasterCard cardholders, enough for a round trip flight between Vancouver and Kelowna, Halifax and St. Johns, Toronto and Ottawa, and many other destinations across Canada and between Canada and the U.S.
|B-roll footage will be available via satellite today, Thursday, July 5th at 16:00 - 16:15 Eastern
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About Kids Help Phone
Since 1989, Kids Help Phone has been Canada's leading online and phone counselling service for youth. It's free, it's anonymous and confidential, and it's available any time of the day or night, 365 days a year in English and in French. Professional counsellors support the mental health and well-being of young people, ages five to 20, by providing one-on-one counselling, information and resources. As a community-based national charity, Kids Help Phone receives no core government funding and relies on community and corporate support to fund its essential and vital service.
About BMO and Soccer
BMO's commitment to soccer extends throughout communities across Canada, with more than 15,000 youth house league soccer players proudly wearing "BMO" on their jersey. As a partner of the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA), BMO supports Canada's Men's and Women's National teams. As well, BMO is the premier sponsor of Toronto FC, the Montreal Impact and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
BMO® Team of the Week is a contest that rewards youth soccer teams that display team pride, spirit, community commitment and passion for the game. Youth soccer teams across the country between the ages seven to 12 are eligible to win $125,000 to refurbish their community soccer field, a trip for the whole team and other great weekly prizes.
About the AIR MILES® Reward Program
Founded in 1992, the AIR MILES Reward Program is Canada's premier coalition loyalty program with more than 10 million active Collector accounts, representing approximately two-thirds of all Canadian households. AIR MILES Collectors can earn reward miles simply by doing their everyday shopping at more than 220 leading brand-name Sponsors, representing thousands of retail and service locations across Canada and leading global brands online. Collectors can indulge in more than 1200 leisure, entertainment, merchandise, travel and a range of accredited, environmentally-friendly lifestyle rewards. With AIR MILES Cash, Collectors can also have the flexibility to instantly redeem their AIR MILES reward miles in-store towards many everyday and high value purchases like gas, grocery, drug store items and home improvement purchases at participating Sponsors.
About MasterCard Worldwide
MasterCard (NYSE:MA), www.mastercard.com, is a global payments and technology company. It operates the world's fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard's products and solutions make everyday commerce activities - such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances - easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.