The days of sports sponsorship by alcohol companies in New Zealand may very well be numbered, according to Steve Stannard of the New Zealand School of Sport and Exercise. Stannard said this during a conference on Sport and Alcohol that was organized last week by the Massey University. 

There may not be enough evidence for the support of a ban just yet, but Stannard thinks one is on the horizon: ’I suspect they’re not going to do it before the Rugby World Cup, and it would be a challenge to do so, but things change’.

He says when the costs of unhealthy drinking are balanced against what sport gains from alcohol sponsorship, there’s probably a fairly strong case for a ban.

During his research into the amount of alcohol advertising connected with sport, he found 935 images of logos and billboards promoting alcohol during last year’s coverage of the Wellington Sevens, and 317 shots of people in the crowd drinking.

Stannard found the study interesting, “We’re talking also about fans with a beer in their hand and players with sponsors written on them etc. It’s fairly considerable” he said.

Source: 02/13/11

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