Fire Defender Austin Berry Chosen as the Next Fire Bobblehead
CHICAGO, Ill. (April 9, 2013) – The Chicago Fire announced that Austin Berry has been chosen as the next Fire bobblehead. The Fire partnered with iconic jersey sponsor The Quaker Oats Company, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, Inc., to create a campaign that allowed fans to Quaker Up™ and vote for the Fire player they wanted to see immortalized into a bobblehead. The reigning MLS Rookie of the Year made a late surge in voting and emerged victorious, receiving 36 percent of total votes. Berry’s bobblehead will be unveiled and distributed to the first 5,000 supporters at the Chicago Fire vs. Sporting Kansas City match Presented by Quaker at Toyota Park on Sunday, July 7 at 2:00 p.m. CT (ESPN/107.9 La Ley).
Berry, in his second year with the Fire has started all four of the Fire’s matches to date. After a standout collegiate career at the University of Louisville, Berry was selected in the first round (ninth overall) in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft and made his professional debut against Chivas USA May 4. With his goal in the 25th minute of the match, Berry became just the third rookie in Fire history and the first since 1998 to score in a debut MLS appearance. Berry went on to play every minute of the remainder of the season and was an instrumental cog in the Fire defense that held opponents to just 41 goals this season, tied for second best in the Eastern Conference. In 2012, the Men in Red went 17-11-6 and earned 57 points, tied with the 2000 season for the highest point total in club history, and qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs for the 12th time in the club’s 15-year history.
In support of Berry as the MLS Rookie of the Year, the Fire and Quaker created a campaign last fall that featured the defender on the cover of 200 Quaker Life Cereal boxes that were distributed to media nationally. On Nov. 19 Berry was named the 2012 MLS Rookie of the Year, receiving more than 50 percent of each the media and team votes.
Berry joins Cuauhtémoc Blanco as the only Fire player to be transformed into a bobblehead.