Group Says Sports Ads are Aimed a Youth
Alcohol Policies Project News Release
Time to End Alcohol Marketing in Sports (TEAMS) is a new, national campaign to reduce the promotion of alcoholic beverages to young people in America by promoting voluntary and governmental policies to reduce the association between alcohol marketing and sports.
TEAMS will also work to promote positive sports role models for youth.
“Glamorized images of alcohol use bombard our nation’s children and ignore the many serious downsides of alcohol use. Many alcoholic-beverage ads and promotions link drinking with sports,” said Brian Hinman, TEAMS coordinator in a news release. “Since young people tend to track the fortunes of sports teams and idolize athletes, they can end up concluding that if they drink, they will be successful at sports . . . or in life. All too often, that link ends in tragedy. Clearly, when it comes to success in sports, alcohol has no role.”
In 1998, Donna Shalala, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, called on the National Collegiate Athletic Association “to sever the tie between college sports and drinking. Completely. Absolutely. And forever!”
Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, in his 1988 Workshop on Drunk Driving, proposed an end to official sponsorship of all athletic events by the alcoholic-beverage industry. Even the NCAA recognized that beer ads appeal to young people when it decided, in 1989, to limit the number of such ads during telecasts of its “March Madness” basketball tournaments.
Some of the priorities of the TEAMS program are:
- Eliminate alcoholic-beverage sponsorship of college and Olympic sports.
- Extend the current NCAA restrictions on alcohol advertising to all collegiate sporting events including the pre- and post- game sports shows.
- Match the level of broadcast alcohol advertising during sporting events with equivalent exposure of effective alcohol prevention messages.
- Prohibit alcohol advertising in sports broadcasting when 15%, or 2 million persons (the lesser of the two), in the viewing or listening audience are under the age of 21.
- Remove sports themes attractive to youth from alcohol advertising in broadcast, Internet, and print media.
- Eliminate alcohol sponsorship and promotion of youth sports events, athletic teams and leagues, and individual athletes.
- Reinstate the federal ban on the appearance of active athletes in alcohol advertising.
- Eliminate alcohol advertising and promotion that portray activities that can be dangerous when combined with alcohol use.
- Eliminate alcohol sales at amateur, youth, and college sports events.
- Eliminate alcohol signage and alcohol program advertising in stadiums and other sports venues except brand identification at the point of sale.
- Require responsible beverage service practices at all professional sporting venues where alcohol is sold.
“We believe that the time for talk is over and the time for action to protect young people from alcohol promotions has come,” Hinman said. “Please join theT.E.A.M.S campaign to disassociate alcohol marketing and sports. Together we can make a difference..
Manager Federal Policy Advocacy & T.E.A.M.S Coordinator
Alcohol Policies Project
202-332-9110, ext. 318
Fax: (202) 265-4954