Reducing harm caused by alcohol

Alcohol Sport Sponsorship

Time to blow the whistle on alcohol marketing in sport

Research from Institute for Social Marketing and Health at the University of Stirling showed high levels of exposure to alcohol sport sponsorship in professional football and rugby union in Scotland. The studies highlight that where alcohol companies sponsor clubs and tournaments there is high frequency of alcohol references, and advertising is sophisticated and integrated into the club identity.

Sponsors are visible throughout match-days with pitch-side hoardings and shirt sponsors but also in the pre-match build-up over days and weeks before competition with extensive social media activity, product endorsement from players, competition tie-ins and limited edition products. 

Millions of people – including children and young people – are exposed to alcohol sponsorship. The evidence is clear that alcohol marketing exposure is a cause of binge drinking and drinking onset among young people. It also influences their attitudes and increases their likelihood of developing problems with alcohol later in life.

AFS and SHAAP recommend that the Scottish Government should end alcohol sport sponsorship of professional sport, ensuring that comprehensive and robust restrictions form part of a broader strategy to control alcohol marketing in Scotland.