Geelong Cats, Qld Cowboys take the most alcohol money

By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 11 April 2019

The Geelong Cats and North Queensland Cowboys accept the most money from the alcohol industry, according to a study by The Foundation for Alcohol Research (FARE).

The report analysed the prevalence of alcohol ads in the NRL and AFL by looking at the clubs’ official websites, merchandise and social media channels.

Of the 18 AFL men’s clubs, just one, the Western Bulldogs, does not accept money from the alcohol industry, while Geelong Cats holds three major and one minor alcohol advertising deal.

There’s also just one of the 16 NRL teams, the Melbourne Storm, that doesn’t accept alcohol money, with the North Queensland Cowboys holding four major and one minor alcohol advertising deal.

“These teams are being paid to promote various harmful alcohol products to sports’ youngest fans,” FARE director of research and policy Trish Hepworth says.

Former St Kilda president Rod Butterss said the Western Bulldogs showed that alcohol advertising deals are not a prerequisite for success and popularity.

Butterss continued to argue that the AFL’s record popularity, with more than one million members for the first time, means it’s in a good position to sever ties with the alcohol industry.

The report also found that Carlton & United Breweries appears to have the most advertising deals with both AFL and NRL teams combined, with Carlton Draught advertising with the AFL and Victoria Bitters with the NRL.

“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,” Hepworth says.

The saturation of alcohol advertising in sports has been an ongoing issue, with the first sports code to ban all alcohol ads recently announced.

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