Survey Shows Prepping for Game Time Can Cause More Stress Than a Trip to the Dentist

Athletes Are Chewing Gum to Conquer Pre-Game Pressure

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - January 6, 2009) - For decades everyday athletes have enjoyed the thrill of competition, and for many of these sporting enthusiasts, game time provides a sense of excitement, adrenaline and even nerves. In fact, a recent survey by Wrigley's Doublemint® gum reveals that preparing for an athletic event can be more stressful for everyday athletes than a trip to the dentist's office, public speaking and being late to an important meeting.(1)

According to Patrick Cohn, Ph.D., sports psychology expert and founder of Peak Performance Sports, experiencing stress before a sporting event or competition can affect an athlete's game-time performance, which helps explain why, in the recent survey, 80 percent of everyday athletes admit to looking for new ways to combat stress. Luckily, for these athletes, chewing gum may be a simple tool athletes could use to help reduce game-time stress.

"If you're experiencing pre-game anxiety, you're likely worrying about results. Focus your mind on the present moment by chewing gum, listening to your favorite music or warming up your jump shot. These strategies can help you relax and boost confidence to perform your best," says Dr. Cohn.

Everyday athletes are already heeding Dr. Cohn's advice. According to the survey, 67 percent of everyday athletes who chew gum say they chew to relieve stress for a sporting event and 59 percent of everyday athletes who chew gum admit that they do so when they need to focus on their sporting event.

Game-Time Edge

Dr. Cohn offers the following tips to help athletes relieve pre-game jitters:

-- Focus on what's under your control, not what's beyond your control.
   You control your thoughts and performance, not what others do or say.

-- Embrace your pre-game butterflies. Your body is signaling you're ready
   to compete.

-- Get in the zone. Staying focused can offer athletes a performance
   edge and research shows chewing gum can help reduce stress, improve
   alertness and relieve anxiety.(2),(3),(4)

-- Visualize success. Taking two minutes a day to visualize desired
   performance can help anticipate a game situation and calm nerves.

Sports-induced stress doesn't end when the competition is over. Among those surveyed, 62 percent admit they feel stressed when watching their favorite sports teams play, while 71 percent admit they talk back or yell at the TV.

"The spirit of competition among athletes and spectators ignites loyalty and passion," said Paul Chibe Wrigley's vice president of North American Gum Marketing. "Athletes and fans everywhere love chewing Doublemint, so the fact that chewing a stick while enjoying sports can reduce stress is a great way to bring together these American pastimes."

For more information about the survey and the Benefits of Chewing™, visit

Additional Survey Results

-- Of adults with children, 52 percent agree watching their child play
   competitive sports is more stressful than actually competing.
-- Overall, most athletes feel stress from themselves (81 percent of
   women and 73 percent of men); however, men are more likely to feel
   pressure from teammates (29 percent) and spectators (20 percent).
-- Everyday athletes admire a number of professional athletes for their
   ability to focus and concentrate during the game, most notably:
     - Tiger Woods (29 percent)
     - Michael Jordan (25 percent)
     - Venus Williams (11 percent)

About the Survey

The national online survey was conducted among 1,000 everyday athlete adults ages 21-34 in September 2008. Everyday athletes were identified as adults who participate in intramural or amateur sports organizations or non-professional races.

About the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company (NYSE: WWY)

Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company is a recognized leader in confections with a wide range of product offerings including gum, mints, hard and chewy candies, lollipops, and chocolate. The company has operations in more than 40 countries and distributes its world-famous brands in more than 180 countries. Three of these brands -- Wrigley's Spearmint®, Juicy Fruit®, and Altoids® -- have heritages stretching back more than a century. Other well-loved brands include Doublemint®, Life Savers®, Skittles®, Big Red®, Boomer®, Pim Pom®, Winterfresh®, Extra®, Starburst®, Freedent®, Hubba Bubba®, Orbit®, Excel®, Creme Savers®, Lucas®, Eclipse®, Airwaves®, Solano®, Sugus®, Lockets®, P.K.®, Cool Air® and 5™. Wrigley is headquartered in Chicago, IL and operates as a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated, based in McLean, VA. Mars is a $27-billion, family-owned company that produces some of the world's leading confectionery, food and petcare products and has growing beverage and health & nutrition businesses.

© 2008 Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. All Rights Reserved. Wrigley's Design, Doublemint and all affiliated designs are trademarks of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company.

(1) Wrigley Athlete Study. StrategyOne. September 2008 - Survey of 1,000
everyday athletes (adults ages 21-34 involved in intramural or amateur
sports organizations, non-professional races, tennis or golf.)  Statistic
based on those who chew gum.
(2) Scholey, Andrew. An investigation into the effects of gum chewing on
mood and cortisol levels during psychological stress. 10th International
Congress of Behavioral Medicine. Tokyo, Japan. August 2008.
(3) Sasaki A. "Influence of mastication on the amount of hemoglobin in
human brain tissue." Journal of Stomatological Society. 2001; 68(1): 72-81.
(4) Yue Z, Huang L, Zhou X. "Regional brain activities during gum chewing."
Psychological Science 2006; 29:1153-1156.

Contact Information: For more information, contact: Amy E. Lind Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company (312) 645-3423 Mandy Marcum Edelman on behalf of Wrigley (312) 297-7551

Research shows chewing gum can help reduce stress, improve alertness and relieve anxiety.