An online survey was conducted to examine the alleged association between alcohol sponsorship of sports and alcohol consumption and attitudes toward sponsoring brands by Australian university sportspeople (i.e., university students representing their university in competitive sports; N = 501; 51% female). A third (33%) of participants reported receipt of alcohol industry sponsorship. Multiple regression analysis revealed an association between disordered consumption (i.e., alcohol abuse) and sportspeople’s receiving direct-to-user sponsorship in the form of product samples, volume club rebates, vouchers, or prizes. Positive attitudes toward alcohol sponsorship in sport correlated with dangerously excessive (i.e., acute) drinking. The evidence suggests that policy makers, sporting organizations, and universities should target specific sponsorships and consumption outcomes rather than considering an overall ban on alcohol industry sponsorship in sport. Results suggest that student-targeted policy and governance alternatives directed at team culture, attitudes toward alcohol, and more subtle forms of sponsorships (i.e., discounted product and vouchers) may be appropriate.
Sarah Jane Kelly, Frank Alpert, and John Mangan are with the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Michael Ireland is with the University of Southern Queensland in Springfield, Queensland, Australia. Address author correspondence to Sarah Kelly at email@example.com.