Fire defender Berry wins 2012 Rookie of the Year award

All those Life cereal boxes paid off.

Chicago Fire defender Austin Berry on Monday was announced by MLS as the winner of the 2012 Rookie of the Year award after one of the most memorable national PR campaigns seen in MLS circles.

WATCH: Berry reacts to winning award

READ: Check out history of Rookie of the Year winners

With the backing of club sponsor Quaker, hundreds of Life cereal boxes were printed with Berry's likeness during the summer, but it was no replacement for his contributions to the Fire in 2012 en route to the club's first playoff appearance since 2009.

The University of Louisville product, who was picked No. 9 overall by the Fire in the 2012 SuperDraft, started 28 straight matches in central defense for Chicago and contributed three goals, including a goal on his debut.

Berry beat out D.C. United's Nick DeLeon and Vancouver's Darren Mattocks, who finished behind him in the voting. Toronto FC's Luis Silva and New York's Connor Lade rounded out the Top 5 in the award recognizing first-year MLS players without previous professional experience.

The Cincinnati native collected the most votes in all three categories among media, players and club management.

PLAYER % Club Votes % Media Votes % Player Votes WEIGHTED TOTAL
1. Austin Berry (CHI) 51.79 56.92 31.96 140.67
2. Nick DeLeon (DC) 25 26.15 22.68 73.83
3. Darren Mattocks (VAN) 7.14 4.62 14.43 26.19
4. Luis Silva (TOR) 10.71 1.54 7.22 18.93
5. Connor Lade (NY) 0 1.54 7.22 8.76