Campaign to call time on alcohol sports sponsorship

Forest Hall YPC, left to right, back row, Steven Clarke, Matthew Dodds, James Parker, Matthew Wood, Andy Lloyd, head of media and communications at Balance, Jack Huggins, Sam Clark and Terry Denwood.
Forest Hall YPC, left to right, back row, Steven Clarke, Matthew Dodds, James Parker, Matthew Wood, Andy Lloyd, head of media and communications at Balance, Jack Huggins, Sam Clark and Terry Denwood.

Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, is urging for time to be called on alcohol sports sponsorship as the World Cup gets under way.

It is highlighting the influence that alcohol marketing and sports sponsorship can have on children and young people.

Colin Shevills, director of Balance, said: “The World Cup is not only a celebration of football, but also a festival of alcohol advertising by big alcohol brands on TV and social media.

"The event will be watched by millions of children and young people who will be exposed to these adverts. We believe they should be able to watch their sport without being constantly exposed to alcohol marketing."

To kick off the campaign and to help local sports clubs to give North East children the best start to a healthy active life, Balance has sponsored team kits for three junior football teams, including Forest Hall YPC Under 15s on North Tyneside.

Coach Terry Denwood said: “We are proud to have Balance as a sponsor for our Under 15s team as we fully support the work they do. As a FA Community Football Club, we are committed to providing a safe environment for local children to play football and we believe that inspiring children to play sport is the best way to encourage them to lead a healthy and active life.”

During the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament, researchers found there were more than 100 alcohol marketing messages per televised match in the UK, France and Ireland.

And Balance says research shows that exposure to alcohol marketing encourages children to drink at an earlier age and in greater quantities than they otherwise would.