SBD/22/Collegiate Sports

DEBATE BREWING OVER BEER SPONSORSHIP OF COLLEGE ATHLETICS

          The relationship between alcoholic beverage companies
     and intercollegiate athletics is examined by Kay Hawes of
     the NCAA NEWS, who writes that while some institutions "have
     turned to alcoholic beverage distributorships and brewing
     companies to sponsor athletics events, tournaments or
     teams," other schools have established "strict policies that
     prohibit such partnerships," while other institutions "are
     on the fence."  At Fresno State, Asst. VP/Univ. Relations
     John Zelezny said, "We have relationships now with [at]
     least a couple of local [alcoholic beverage] distributors. 
     ... It poses a difficult problem for us, because on one hand
     it's important not to promote abuse of the product.  On the
     other hand, we got rid of prohibition as a society decades
     ago."  At UNC-Chapel Hill, there are no promotions with
     alcoholic beverage companies.  Tar Heel Network radio
     carrier Village Co. went so far as to create a "Don't Get
     Wasted" PSA campaign for UNC.  The Univ. of MN last fall
     "began to re-examine its relationship" with alcoholic
     beverage companies, reducing a three-year deal with
     Minnesota Brewing to one year.  Univ. of MN Asst. AD/
     External Ops Pat Forciea cited the "increasing number of
     drinking-related incidents across the nation" and said, "The
     right thing to do was to end our relationship.  It was also
     the expensive thing to do."  MN's athletic department
     received about $250,000 from alcoholic beverage companies. 
     Last month, U.S. Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) "proposed a
     resolution in the U.S. Senate that includes recommendations
     that universities not enter into sponsorship agreements with
     alcoholic beverage companies" (NCAA NEWS, 4/6 issue).  
          IN DEFENSE: John Kaestner, A-B Senior Group Dir/
     Consumer Awareness & Education, defended beer companies'
     role in promoting college athletics and noted "a lot of that
     funding generated by sponsorships helps fund ... sports like
     track, baseball and women's sports" (NCAA NEWS, 4/6 issue). 
          
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Anheuser Busch, Colleges, NCAA

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