PITTSBURGH, Feb. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- General Nutrition Centers, Inc. (GNC), the nation's largest specialty retailer of nutritional supplements, announced today that Major League Baseball star Mark Mulder has signed on as the primary member of GNC's Team Pro Performance - an elite group of athletes that use GNC Pro Performance sports nutrition products as an integral part of their training. Mulder is a starting left-handed pitcher for the defending National League Champions, the St. Louis Cardinals, and highly regarded as one of the most talented starting pitchers in Major League Baseball.
"This is more than an endorsement deal," Mulder said. "I believe supplements can play an integral role in athletic performance and overall health. I'm proud to team with GNC to help educate and differentiate between safe, legal supplements and illegal, potentially dangerous performance enhancing drugs."
Mulder is expected to be one of the St. Louis Cardinals' top pitchers after being acquired in an off-season trade from the Oakland A's. While with the A's over the past 4 seasons, Mulder averaged 18 wins and 140 strikeouts per year. He was the starting and winning pitcher for the American League in the 2004 All-Star Game.
"We're thrilled to add Mark as a leading force on Team Pro Performance," said Steven Nelson, Vice President of Marketing for GNC. "Mark has risen to the top of Major League Baseball the right way - with dedication, hard work, proper nutrition and safe supplementation. He sets an excellent example for young athletes."
GNC intends to include Mulder as the face of a new campaign focused on educating young athletes about supplements, both the potential benefits of legal, safe supplementation and the potential dangers of illegal drugs, such as anabolic steroids. The information is being compiled by GNC's scientific affairs team and will be distributed free to young athletes at all GNC locations around the country and will be available online at www.gnc.com later this year.
"I know what it's like to be a young athlete trying to do everything possible to get the most out of your natural talent," said Mulder. "There are so many supplements available and it can be difficult to identify the right products to support your individual training and athletic goals. I applaud GNC for taking a proactive approach in an attempt to educate young athletes. I want to work with them to ensure the information is clear and accessible."
GNC is the largest global specialty retailer of nutritional supplements, which includes vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements, sports nutrition products, diet and energy products and specialty supplements. GNC has more than 4,900 retail locations throughout the United States, including more than 1,300 domestic franchise locations, more than 1,000 store-within-a-store locations under its strategic alliance with Rite Aid and more than 800 locations in more than 35 foreign markets including Canada and Mexico.