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Kraft, NHL, NHLPA, NBC Sports Group and USA Hockey search for America's most passionate hockey communities to find Kraft Hockeyville USA

NHL.com @NHL

NORTHFIELD, Ill. -- January 1, 2015 -- Today, at the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® featuring the Chicago Blackhawks® and Washington Capitals® broadcast on NBC, the puck officially drops for Kraft Hockeyville™ USA -- the search for America’s most passionate hockey community. Uniting an all-star roster of partners including the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), National Hockey League (NHL®), NBC Sports Group, and USA Hockey, Kraft’s award-winning, Canadian-born Hockeyville™ program has expanded into the U.S. for the first time to help build better hockey communities across the country. Beginning today, hockey communities across the U.S. can vie for the esteemed title of "Kraft Hockeyville™ USA" and enter for a chance to win the grand prize of hosting an NHL® Pre-Season game televised live on NBCSN and $150,000 in arena upgrades.

"Seeing all these passionate hockey fans cheering on their team in the brisk winter air reminds me of the way so many of us fell in love with the sport," said Dino Bianco, Executive Vice President and President, Kraft Beverages. "Fans like this coming together for their shared love of hockey is what inspired us to launch Kraft Hockeyville in the U.S. and celebrate the unity that hockey brings to communities across the country."

Kraft also drafted a friend -- NHL® legend and NBC Sports analyst, Jeremy Roenick -- to help spread the word across the country. "Growing up in Boston, hockey was a way of life for children and families, and it brought together my community in a way that nothing else could. I wouldn’t be who I am today without the lessons I learned and the experiences I gained at Pilgrim Arena from coaches like my dad, Wally Roenick, Paul Kramer, and Arthur Valicenti. Kraft Hockeyville™ USA will help communities keep these traditions alive, and that is something I am excited to be a part of working with Kraft."

How Kraft Hockeyville™ USA Works

Like a hockey game, Kraft Hockeyville™ USA has three periods. In the first period, communities across the country are encouraged to enter by sharing unique stories about their local rink, teams, hockey spirit and passion and submitting their nominations now through March 18, 2015, at www.KraftHockeyville.com, where complete contest rules and nomination applications are available.

Ten community finalists will be chosen to kick off the second action-packed period, which includes three rounds of public voting:

-- Round 1 (April 14-16, 2015) -- Top four communities chosen to move on to the next round; remaining six each receive $20,000 toward arena upgrades.

-- Round 2 (April 21-22, 2015) -- Top two finalists selected; remaining two each receive $40,000 toward arena upgrades.

-- Round 3 (April 27-29, 2015) -- One community will emerge as the first-ever "Kraft Hockeyville™ USA"; runner-up will receive $75,000 toward arena upgrades.

In the final period, the winning community will be announced -- on May 2, 2015 -- and receive the grand prize of the chance to host an NHL® Pre-Season game televised on NBCSN and receive $150,000 in arena upgrades from Kraft.

Kraft Hockeyville™ USA is meant to not only ignite a passion for hockey in America, but also bring a renewed sense of pride to communities. Since launching in Canada in 2006, Kraft Hockeyville™ has positively impacted 43 communities with more than $1.6 million donated in arena upgrades. Kraft also hopes that its diverse portfolio of products will help unite hockey fans in their celebrations of the sport and their communities. The campaign will celebrate consumers’ excitement around a variety of iconic Kraft brands, including A1, Bulls-Eye BBQ Sauce, Cracker Barrel, Jell-O, Kraft Mac & Cheese, Kraft Mayo, Kraft Natural Cheese, Kraft Salad Dressings, Kraft Singles, Maxwell House, Miracle Whip, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters, Stove Top and Velveeta.

For contest rules, information on nominating your community and complete program details, visit www.KraftHockeyville.com. Kraft Hockeyville™ USA can also be found at Facebook.com/KraftHockeyvilleUSA and on Twitter (@HockeyvilleUSA). You can join the conversation using #HockeyvilleUSA.

NHLPA, National Hockey League Players’ Association and the NHLPA logo are trademarks of the NHLPA. © NHLPA.

NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League, and the NHL Winter Classic logo and HOCKEYVILLE are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks (including HOCKEYVILLE) and NHL team logos and marks are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. © NHL 2014. All Rights Reserved.

ABOUT KRAFT FOODS GROUP

Kraft Foods Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: KRFT) is one of North America’s largest consumer packaged food and beverage companies, with annual revenues of more than $18 billion. With the spirit of a startup and the soul of a powerhouse, Kraft has an unrivaled portfolio of products in the beverages, cheese, refrigerated meals and grocery categories. The company’s iconic brands include Kraft, Capri Sun, Jell-O, Kool-Aid, Lunchables, Maxwell House, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters and Velveeta. Kraft’s 22,500 employees in the U.S. and Canada have a passion for making the foods and beverages people love. Kraft is a member of the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the NASDAQ-100 indices. For more information, visit www.kraftfoodsgroup.com and www.facebook.com/kraft

ABOUT THE NHL

The National Hockey League (NHL®), founded in 1917, consists of 30 Member Clubs, each reflecting the League’s international makeup with players from more than 20 countries represented on team rosters, vying for the most cherished and historic trophy in professional sports -- the Stanley Cup®. Every year the NHL entertains more than 250 million fans in-arena and through its partners on national television and radio; more than 10 million fans on its social platforms; and more than 300 million fans online at NHL.com. In Canada, the 2014-15 season marks the beginning of a landmark 12-year broadcast and multimedia agreement with Rogers Communications, which includes national rights to NHL games on all platforms in all languages. In the U.S., the NHL is in the fourth season of its 10-year agreement with NBC and NBCSN, the 10th consecutive season both networks have served as national television partners. The NHL is committed to giving back to the community with programs including: Hockey is for Everyone™, which supports nonprofit youth hockey organizations across North America; Hockey Fights Cancer™, raising money for local and national cancer organizations; NHL Green™, which is committed to pursuing sustainable business practices; and a partnership with the You Can Play Project, which is committed to supporting the LGBT community and fighting homophobia in sports. The NHL received three 2014 Sports Business Awards: "Sports League of the Year," "Sports Executive of the Year" recognizing Commissioner Gary Bettman, and "Sports Event of the Year" for the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®. For more information, visit NHL.com.

ABOUT THE NHLPA

The National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA), established in 1967, is a labor organization whose members are the players in the National Hockey League (NHL). The NHLPA works on behalf of the players in varied disciplines such as labor relations, product licensing, marketing, international hockey and community relations, all in furtherance of its efforts to promote its members and the game of hockey. In 1999, the NHLPA launched the Goals & Dreams fund as a way for the players to give something back to the game they love. Over the past 15 years, more than 70,000 deserving children in 32 countries have benefited from the players' donations of hockey equipment. NHLPA Goals & Dreams has donated more than $22-million to grassroots hockey programs, making it the largest program of its kind. For more information on the NHLPA, please visit www.nhlpa.com.

ABOUT NBC SPORTS GROUP

When the Comcast-NBCUniversal transaction was completed in January 2011, the sports assets of the two companies combined to form NBC Sports Group, which serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio shows, and compelling original programming. The sports media company consists of a unique array of sports assets, including NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, NBCSN (NBC Sports Network), Golf Channel, 10 NBC Sports Regional Networks, NBC Sports Radio and NBC Sports Digital. NBC Sports Group possesses an unparalleled collection of television rights agreements, partnering with some of the most prestigious sports properties in the world: the International Olympic Committee and United States Olympic Committee, the NFL, NHL, NASCAR, PGA TOUR, PGA of America, USGA, Churchill Downs, Premier League, MLS, Tour de France, French Open, Formula One, IndyCar and many more.

ABOUT USA HOCKEY

USA Hockey Inc., founded on October 29, 1937, and headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., provides the foundation for the sport of ice hockey in America; helps young people become leaders; and connects the game at every level while promoting a lifelong love of the sport. More than one million strong, including players, coaches, officials and volunteers that span all 50 states, USA Hockey is the National Governing Body for the sport in the United States and has important partnerships with the National Hockey League, United States Olympic Committee and International Ice Hockey Federation. For more information, visit usahockey.com.

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