Sponsorship And Alcohol, Responsibility Is Key

< BACK TO MARKETING starstarstarstarstar   Business - Marketing Press Release
27th August 2009, 05:31pm - Views: 1132

Business Marketing SPONSORSHIP AUSTRALASIA 1 image


Melbourne – 27 August, 2009: Sponsorship Australasia, the professional association of

the Australasian Sponsorship Industry believes that a ban on alcohol sponsorships would

have huge ramifications for many arts, cultural, entertainment, community, and major

sporting events including; ARU, NRL, AFL, CA, Golf, V8, Football, as well as the grassroots

youth and community programs that spin-off from them.

“The broad social issue of alcohol misuse is complex and there is no single solution, but what we

do know is that

Sponsorship by the alcohol industry is worth many hundreds of millions of

dollars to the Australian sports, entertainment and arts sector.  Money which in many cases is

filtered down to support grassroots development programmes,” says Phil Whittaker, President,

Sponsorship Australasia.  

The alcohol industry has been keen to protect its position and investments and brands have

taken significant voluntary steps to promote responsible drinking, and in some instances, to use

their sponsorships as a vehicle for conveying messages of sensible drinking.

In Australia, millions of dollars are re-invested into alcohol awareness and education such as the

Foster’s Group ‘Enjoy Responsibly’ program


, Diageo’s ‘Fine Form’ campaign through Bundaberg

Rum and the ‘Pace Yourself. Walk Tall’ campaign through Johnnie Walker


as well as Beam

Global’s ‘Where Do You Draw The Line?


responsible drinking program.

“Fosters has a proud history of supporting the development of Australian sport –


grassroots and amateurs through to professional codes,” says Chris Maxwell, National

Sponsorship Manager, Fosters Group Limited.  “We strongly believe that associating our brands

with Australia’s favourite sports drives greater brand recognition – not excessive consumption.”

Diageo Australia sponsors sport from a grass-roots level right through to national teams.

“Diageo is a proud and committed supporter of sports in Australia. We believe that our

sponsorships provide a significant positive benefit to both sports and to the wider community.

We are also committed to driving a more responsible drinking culture across Australia,” says

Corporate Relations Director, Bob Rayner.  “We have used these sponsorship platforms through

our Bundaberg Rum and Johnnie Walker brands to deliver DrinkiQ, our alcohol information

workshop to sports players, as well as delivering broader responsible drinking campaigns to

consumers. We enforce the most stringent marketing code, which is applied to all

of our

products, marketing and sponsorship activity.”


















Business Marketing SPONSORSHIP AUSTRALASIA 3 image



Beam Global partner with many organisations, from naming rights for its

V8 Supercar team

down to grass roots club surfing. “We work with all our partners to ensure our responsible

drinking program, ‘Where Do You Draw The Line?, which focuses on personal responsibility and

knowing what’s right for you, is communicated and more importantly, actioned, through

everything we do,” says Kel Constantine, Sponsorship & Events Manager, Beam Global Australia

Pty Ltd.  

Elsewhere, the European Sponsorship Association (ESA)


has conducted a wide-reaching

survey of European rights-holders to gain insight into practice and attitudes towards alcohol

sponsorship. ESA was keen to discover the extent to which rights holders hold concerns over

alcohol sponsorship, together with the extent of any measures, voluntary or otherwise, in place

to regulate such activity and protect these important revenue streams.

The results clearly indicate that many rights holders have their own internal procedures to set

the nature and extent of their partnerships with alcohol brands, and do not wish for additional

legislative control. Many assess alcohol sponsorship on a case-by-case basis, with some banning

it along the lines of unsuitability or the target age of their audience. 

“Restrictions on alcohol sponsorship, or more critically, a blanket ban would see many rights-

holders struggle to fill the void left by alcohol brands’ investments,” adds Whittaker. Indeed,

around half of the organisations surveyed by the ESA, said they would be affected if legal

restrictions were imposed upon alcohol sponsorships; significantly more for those with current

alcohol sponsorship deals.

Industry and Government collaboration is essential.

With more proposed regulation in the pipeline it is essential that the industry work with the

Government to help create a fair policy and legislation.

“SA’s role in social responsibility issues is to provide a voice for its members by ensuring that it

leads on industry issues and initiatives,” adds Whittaker. “Both the sponsorship and the alcohol

industry must work with the government not only because we should be vigorously committed

to preventing alcohol misuse but because, in fact, it is good for the business and industry, and

public health concerns can be constructively brought together to share a common purpose.”

Sponsorship Australasia is also concerned at Australia’s lack of reliable research in this area and

welcomes an opportunity to work with the Government to ensure that the interests of the

sponsorship industry are properly represented and taken into account. “We would strongly

support any move by the Government to carry out or commission further studies, so that it can

come to a properly informed view as to whether any restriction or other policy measure is

appropriate,” adds Whittaker.

Both of these topics will form key discussion points at the upcoming Sponsorship Australasia

annual conference – The Business of Sponsorship: A Meeting of the Minds – which is being held

in Sydney on 29th October, 2009. 

Whilst SA fully supports the overriding intention behind any such policies, namely addressing

alcohol misuse and other problems associated with alcohol, they “hope that common sense

prevails when implementing any policies. Bans should be as a last resort, and considered

carefully and only in the face of irrefutable causal connection.”


Business Marketing SPONSORSHIP AUSTRALASIA 4 image



“The industry needs to ensure that it continues to deliver on its side of the bargain and sell and

market responsibly. Rights holders and sponsors need to continue to be vigilant in ensuring that

alcohol sponsorships are professionally managed. It must be a long-

term strategy and the

solution must be education,” adds Whittaker.

* Foster’s Enjoy Responsibly Program:

‘Enjoy Responsibly’ pertains to Foster’s Group responsible consumption messages and a range of

measures to ensure they encourage

responsible drinking through all activities.  Foster’s Group define

responsible drinking as drinking that is legal, informed and considered.  Foster’s invests

more than $2

for more


** Diageo’s Responsible Drinking programs: 

Bundaberg Rum: ‘Fine Form’ is all about showing the positive impacts of staying in control and your social

best and talks to the audience in a way that they can

relate to.  To date, Bundaberg has invested $4

million into the Fine Form Campaign.

Johnnie Walker: ‘Pace Yourself. Walk Tall’ was a campaign run as part of the brands association with

Cricket Australia.  The campaign reminded adult cricket fans to pace their alcohol consumption and retain

their self-composure at all times.  Johnnie Walker invested $500,000 into this program.  

*** Beam Global’s Responsible Drinking program:             

Beam Global’s Where Do You Draw The Line? campaign aims to provide useful information and tools to

enable consumers to enjoy our products and know what is right for them when drinking, no matter what

people are consuming – be it beer, wine or spirits.  The overarching focus is on personal responsibility and

educating key audiences, through actions rather than words. 

Launched last year, Beam Global has

already invested over $1 million in this program.

**** ESA


With a mission to strengthen and advance the critical role that corporate sponsorship and partnerships

play in the Australasian marketing landscape, SPONSORSHIP AUSTRALASIA (SA) provides its members with

professional development and networking opportunities through education programs, information

exchange forums and research projects conducted on national levels.

Established in 1993, SA (formerly Australasian Sponsorship Marketing Association, ASMA) continuously

strives to develop new and better ways for companies and brands to partner with sports, arts, events,

entertainment, nonprofits, and causes — for mutual benefit.

Showcasing best practice and advocacy, the vision of SA is to provide a unified voice to support all

industry practitioners including Corporate Sponsors, Sponsorship Consulting Agencies or Organisations

seeking sponsorship; building value, demand and understanding.

Run by dedicated industry professionals who work on a voluntary basis, SA has a strong membership base

with active chapters in ACT, NSW, QLD, VIC and WA. 


For further media information or interviews, please contact:

Sharon Mackenzie

Media Relations, Sponsorship Australasia

T: 03 9512 0506 or M: 0431 374 671 Email: sharon@mackenzieoz.com

news articles logo NEWS ARTICLES
Contact News Articles |Remove this article