January 28, 2001

Colgate-Palmolive recently announced its support of community and literacy efforts led by Major League Baseball all-star shortstop Alex Rodriguez.

Colgate-Palmolive's Mennen Speed Stick brand sponsored the fund-raising event "An Evening With The All-Stars," featuring Alex Rodriguez and other invited celebrities. At the gala celebration, held Friday, January 19 in Miami, Mennen Speed Stick contributed $11,000 to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Miami Inc., an organization dedicated to helping children.

Rodriguez, who is known as "A-Rod" to his fans, is in his second year as spokesperson for the Mennen Speed Stick brand. "A-Rod is a role model to young Hispanic men," says Ricardo Martinez, Director of Hispanic Marketing for Colgate-Palmolive. "He is not only charismatic, but he also exemplifies the important values of education, hard work, professionalism, and dedication to family and community that we as a company support."

Mennen Speed Stick and A-Rod Support Literacy

To further support the Hispanic community, Mennen Speed Stick recently hosted a baseball clinic for 35 Hispanic kids between the ages of 12 and 17, winners of the "Win and Read with A-Rod" sweepstakes. The clinic was held at the University of Miami baseball field last December. Mennen Speed Stick designed the reading incentive program and worked closely with local schools in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Antonio to execute the campaign successfully. The program encouraged students to read a minimum of three books over a two-month period, with cooperation from a teacher. More than 300 middle and high schools with predominantly Hispanic student populations participated in the reading incentive program. Grand-prize winners were awarded an all-expenses-paid weekend trip to Miami to participate in the clinic with A-Rod.

The "Read and Win" program was a natural fit with Rodriguez, since he is the author of Hit a Grand Slam, an autobiographical book emphasizing the values of family, education and hard work.

A-Rod, athlete on a meteoric rise

At just 25 years of age, A-Rod is currently the highest paid athlete in the history of baseball -- having signed an historic contract with the Texas Rangers in December 2000. Born in New York of Dominican descent and raised in Miami, he is perfectly comfortable in a bilingual, bicultural world. A-Rod was the first pick of the free-agent draft in 1993 by the Seattle Mariners. Key accomplishments include: the record for the most home runs by a shortstop in a single season (1998); three career major league grand slams; and first infielder to be part of the exclusive 40-40 club with 42 runs and 46 stolen bases.

A-Rod stars in new Speed Stick Spanish-language commercial

As part of its Hispanic marketing initiatives, Mennen Speed Stick recently premiered a new Spanish-language broadcast and print media campaign for its Speed Stick Ultimate line of anti-perspirants and deodorants, featuring Alex Rodriguez. The ads were produced by SIBONEYUSA, Colgate's Hispanic advertising partner.

"Alex fits our brand image perfectly," says Martinez. "As a son of immigrants, he has faced many challenges and has had to work harder to achieve his goals. He has had the confidence to live life on his own terms."

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