Alcohol sponsorship of football: Examining the nature of sponsorship relations for professional football teams across countries with varied restrictions on alcohol marketing

Alcohol sponsorship of football: Examining the nature of sponsorship relations for professional football teams across countries with varied restrictions on alcohol marketing

The report examines the extent of alcohol sport sponsorship in the top tier of professional football across 10 European nations and explores to what extent different approaches to restricting alcohol sports sponsorship impacts the sponsorship arrangements of football clubs in these countries. Key findings from the report include:

  • Of 178 teams audited, only 2.6% of the main sponsors/partners identified were judged to be alcohol related.
  • However, of the 178 teams audited, 72.5% had at least one main sponsor/partner related to alcohol.
  • Most sponsors were for producers/distributors/brands of alcoholic drinks (93.5%).
  • A smaller proportion were for brand variants with no (zero) or low alcohol content (4.0%).
  • This report shows that in comparison to other European leagues with varying levels of restrictions, Scotland has a higher proportion of alcohol industry sponsors (6.4% compared to 2.6%).
  • Of the 12 Scottish Premier League football teams, 6 have at least one alcohol industry main sponsor or partner.
  • The data provides some evidence about the impact of differing approaches to regulating alcohol sport sponsorship. Specifically, teams from countries identified as having no statutory restrictions on alcohol sponsorship have a higher proportion of alcohol related sponsors versus non-alcohol sponsors.
  • France and Norway, who have statutory regulation of alcohol marketing including sport sponsorship have comparatively less alcohol sponsorship than countries such as Scotland and Belgium without statutory controls.
  • The data provides some evidence that wider controls on alcohol marketing may also have an indirect effect on sport sponsorship. Specifically, in Sweden, there are no known statutory restrictions on alcohol sport sponsorship, yet only 0.6% of the main sponsors/partners identified for teams in the Allsvenskan were judged to be alcohol related. Sweden does, however, have some statutory restrictions on wider alcohol advertising. Thus, the lower number of alcohol related sponsors may be an indirect consequence of these broader restrictions limiting how any sponsorship relation could be promoted (e.g., on television or billboards).
File Name: Final report (web).pdf
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File Type: application/pdf
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Created Date: 13th Nov 2022
Last Updated: 13th Nov 2022