Drunk With Greed? Some Football Clubs Have Up To Seven Alcohol Sponsors
Our major footy teams are drowning in alcohol advertisements, and there is a push to ban it.
The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) analysed alcohol advertisement in Australia's two biggest footy codes, the AFL and the NRL.
Trish Hepworth, FARE Director of Research and Policy, said the widespread use of alcohol advertising in sport was "toxic" given the $36 billion cost alcohol has on the community.
“Alcohol is one of the most heavily promoted products worldwide and our Aussie Rules clubs are being used by these foreign multinationals to mass market alcohol brands to Australian audiences, particularly targeting young people,” she said.
"These deals between alcohol multinationals and Australian sporting codes are toxic given that alcohol contributes to the three leading causes of death among adolescents -- unintentional injuries, homicide and suicide."
In the AFL, 17 of the 18 clubs were found to have an advertisement deal with an alcohol company.
The Geelong Cats were the team with the most number of alcohol sponsors, with six major and one minor.
The Western Bulldogs bucked the trend being the only team without alcohol advertising, a feat applauded by former St Kilda President Rod Butterss.
"As an ambassador for the national campaign to End Alcohol Advertising in Sport, I congratulate the Doggies for being the only club to resist the temptation of accepting money from the alcohol industry," he said.
“It just goes to show that alcohol advertising deals are not a pre-requisite for success or popularity."
Code hopping to the NRL, there was again just one in 16 teams to not have an alcohol sponsor: the Melbourne Storm.
The North Queensland Cowboys topped the NRL list, with four major alcohol sponsors and one minor sponsor.
Former NRL player and EAAIS ambassador Steve Ella said the game's young fans "deserved better" and should be put before profiting from the "greedy" alcohol industry.
“The NRL made $46 million profit last year and had more than one million viewers watching the NRL Telstra Premiership, which is great exposure for the sport, but not at the expense of kids who were exposed to three alcohol ads every minute of finals game,” Ella said.
The EAAIS campaign was launched last year to phase out the practice in sport.
At the time of the launch, campaign ambassador and former Melbourne Storm chairman Professor Rob Moodie told 10 daily alcohol advertising "normalises, glamorises and glorifies" alcohol consumption.
"Kids are awash with alcohol advertising earlier, and we know this can lead to binge drinking and alcohol problems in the future," Moodie, a lecturer in public health at the University of Melbourne, said.
10 daily has contacted the North Queensland Cowboys, Brisbane Broncos, New Zealand Warriors, West Coast Eagles and Melbourne FC for comment.