Jul 01, 2014 • By

Help choose the next athlete on the Wheaties box

Strength, heart and a lot of hard work is what makes athletes into champions – particularly a Wheaties champion.

For decades, Wheaties has carefully chosen from the most elite athletes in the world to chronicle the greatest achievements in sports on the front of iconic orange box.

This summer, the brand is switching it up!

Wheaties Next

For first time ever, Wheaties is turning to America to help choose the next elite athlete to be featured nationally on the box with the launch of the Wheaties NEXT Challenge.

They’ve selected five world-class athletes from five emerging sports and now it’s your turn to help determine who gets the coveted Wheaties champion title on a national level.

This isn’t your average log-on-and-vote contest, though.

The athletes will compete for this honor by asking their fans to get out and move. Beginning today through August 31, Challenge participants will vote for their favorite athlete by logging workouts through the MapMyFitness platform – either manually documenting online, recording through any of the apps (MapMyFitness, MapMyRun, MapMyRide, MapMyWalk) or by connecting any one of the 400+ compatible devices.

At the end of the Challenge the athlete with the most votes via workouts logged will appear on the Wheaties box, in early 2015.


“We’re excited to kick off the NEXT Challenge. It’s a new twist on the traditional contest because these athletes and their fans have got to have skin in the game,” says David Oehler, marketing manager for Wheaties. “You can’t just sit idly by and click the mouse to submit a vote each day; you have to get out and you have to work for it.”

How it Works:

· Visit MapMyFitness.com/wheatiesnext or download the MapMyFitness app

· Select and join the Wheaties NEXT Challenge

· Register for the Wheaties NEXT Challenge and select an athlete

· Once registered, participants can begin logging workouts

· Every workout logged (up to two workouts of 30 minutes or more can be logged each day) will count as one vote for the selected athlete

· At the end of the competition, the athlete with the most votes via workouts logged will be the next athlete to appear on the Wheaties box

The competition doesn’t stop there

Adding yet another layer of competition between the athletes, each athlete has also selected a charity of their choice for which they are competing. At the close of the NEXT Challenge, each charity will receive a donation from General Mills based upon the number of workouts logged for each athlete.

Meet the Wheaties NEXT athletes

“These athletes truly embody the Wheaties mantra to work hard and enjoy the journey,” says David. “Each one of the athletes has achieved great things in their career already and they’re still striving for something so much bigger. They are all the epitome of a true champion.”

Wheaties Next

· Ryan Dungey representing motocross. A native of Belle Plaine, Minnesota, Dungey has made a name for himself as one of the top riders in motocross. His dominance began in 2009 when he won both the Lites Supercross Championship and the 250 Motocross Championship. During the 2012 season, he won 10 consecutive races and won the overall motocross title. Dungey supports St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital which is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other deadly diseases.

“I am pumped to compete in the Wheaties NEXT campaign with these 4 amazing athletes,” said Dungey. “Being able to represent my sport and hopefully become the first motocross athlete ever to be on the cover of the Wheaties box would be pretty cool.”

· Blake Leeper representing para-athletes and track and field. Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, with both legs missing below the knee and has been using prosthetics since he was a toddler. After receiving a grant from the Challenged Athletes Foundation to receive a pair of running prosthetics he has competed at several events including the Endeavor Games and National Championships. He also won a silver and bronze medal while competing in London in 2012. Leeper supports the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

· Rob Pannell representing lacrosse. Born in Smithtown, New York, Pannell has been playing lacrosse since high school. After a successful collegiate career where he was voted National Player of the Year, Pannell was the no. 1 draft choice in the 2012 Major League Lacrosse draft where he currently is an all-star for the New York Lizards.

· Anthony “Showtime” Pettis representing mixed-martial-arts (MMA). A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Pettis made his professional MMA debut in 2007 and instantly took the sport by storm, amassing an impressive 17-2 record. Known for his flashy, gravity-defying kicks, Pettis captured the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight championship in 2013 and cemented himself as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Pettis supports the Gadzuric Foundation and Exploit No More.

· Christen Press representing women’s soccer. Born in Palos Verdes Estates, California, Press started playing soccer at the age of five and quickly picked up the sport. After a successful high school career where she was named an All-American, Christen became a goal-scoring machine in college and still holds her school’s all-time record. After playing professionally in Sweden’s top division for two seasons, she will be joining the Chicago Red Stars of the U.S. National Women’s Soccer League for the 2014 season. Press supports Grassroot Soccer.

Fans can follow the voting and watch exclusive in-depth videos of each athlete by stopping by Wheaties.com or Facebook.com/wheaties.

For more information on how to join MapMyFitness and vote for your favorite sport to be represented on the iconic Wheaties box, visit MapMyFitness.com/wheatiesnext.