(World Health Organisation European Charter on Alcohol strategies for alcohol action 1995)
When does alcohol sponsorship of sport become sports sponsorship of alcohol?
“Following Formula One’s sponsorship deal with Heineken, Eurocare vice-president Lauri Beekmann speculates over the real benefits to the funding of national and global sports for the major alcohol industry players
We expect anything from the drinks industry, what they do is in the interest of their business, that’s why the letter was sent to the F1 management. The ball is in the court of sports leaders and national and international policy makers. They have to understand that when it comes to alcohol, sponsorship money is not only about sports but about alcohol policy that has these same goals everywhere: to reduce alcohol related harm, overall consumption levels and youth exposure to alcohol. They may say and think that they can’t solve alcohol problems and deal with alcohol policy issues, that they are just there for their sports. But if they accept alcohol money, they are part of the problem. They must ask themselves, when does alcohol sponsorship of sport become sports sponsorship of alcohol?
A good example comes from Australia where 12 sporting organisations have agreed to end all existing and future alcohol sponsorship agreements. In exchange, the groups will share $25 million in replacement government funding taken from new alcopops tax revenues. As a sports fan I agree that other measures have to be found to replace the alcohol money. A simple ban could leave some sports without necessary support. But as the Australian case shows, it´s possible.
Heineken's generous F1 sponsorship attempts to present that they are irreplaceable. Big Tobacco tried this before, but lost the battle. Nick Fry, Former CEO of Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team said about losing the tobacco sponsorship
: “While tobacco companies were generous partners of Formula 1 for nearly four decades, the reality is that a large number of companies did not want to be associated with a team with tobacco logos on the car and indeed some didn't want to be associated with the sport, which was very tobacco oriented. This really has opened up a whole new door.”
For complete article go to… http://www.ias.org.uk/Blog/When-does-alcohol-sponsorship-of-sport-become-sports-sponsorship-of-alcohol.aspx