Sport sponsorship is a major marketing communications tool, with one source reporting a total of $62.8 billion spent globally on sport sponsorship in 2017 ( Statista, 2018 ). Alcohol has a strong financial and cultural connection as a sponsoring product category in many sports. For instance
Sarah Kelly and Michael Ireland
Sarah Jane Kelly, Michael Ireland, Frank Alpert and John Mangan
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.
Brian E. Menaker and Daniel P. Connaughton
Alcohol consumption at college football games concerns stadium and university administrators because of the risk of alcohol-related crime, injury, and other potential problems. The purpose of this study was to determine how many of the 120 NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision athletic department Web sites posted their stadium alcohol policies, what their alcohol policies contained, and how they differed. An analysis of information about the availability of alcohol, restrictions on alcohol consumption, and the enforcement of the policies on their official university-sponsored athletic department stadium Web sites was conducted. Results of the study suggested that alcohol policy information is often unavailable or difficult to locate. College athletic department Web sites are typically filled with varying information about their sport teams, but because of the layout and busy nature of such sites, it is often difficult to find certain information on them.
Bryan E. Denham
Drawing on data gathered from high-school seniors in the 2008 Monitoring the Future Study of American Youth (N = 2,063), this research examined the explanatory effects of competitive sports participation on alcohol consumption and marijuana use using race and noncompetitive exercise frequency as controls. Among males, competitive sports included baseball, basketball, football, soccer, track and field, and weightlifting, and among females, sports included softball, basketball, soccer, swimming and diving, track and field, and volleyball. White males reported greater alcohol consumption than Black and Hispanic respondents, with competitors in baseball, football and weightlifting consuming alcohol more frequently. The use of marijuana did not depend on race, but baseball players and weightlifters reported significantly more use. Among females, race differences did not emerge in ordinal regression models testing effects on alcohol consumption, but participants in every sport reported drinking alcohol more frequently. White female athletes also appeared to smoke marijuana more frequently. Overall, results suggested comparably strong effects for female sport environments while male behaviors varied by race, noncompetitive exercise frequency, and sports competition. Limitations of the study and recommendations for future research are offered.
This study examined the relationship between sport participation on the one hand and smoking and the use of alcohol and drugs on the other among Icelandic youth 12- to 15 years of age. Two indicators of sport participation were employed; one measured its extent in formally organized sports clubs, while the other measured the extent to which the subjects were involved in sports regardless of whether they trained informally or with a formally organized sports club. Two random samples of 12- to 15-year-olds from the urban areas of southwest Iceland, comprising 456 and 358 subjects, were analyzed to determine if there was a negative correlation between sport participation and the measures of deviant behavior in question. However, 3 of the 12 relationships tested were not significant at the .05 level. The findings do not change significantly when gender, social class, and age are controlled. It is concluded that the findings give cross-cultural support to previous research results indicating a negative relationship between youth, sport participation, and the use of alcohol, drugs, and smoking.
Kelly Huang and Marlene A. Dixon
As college athletic departments continue to seek additional sources of revenue to remain competitive, alcohol sales on game day increasingly has been considered as a potentially lucrative and untapped revenue source. Despite the seemingly high profitability from alcohol sales, the increased availability of alcohol coupled with its consumption by a large number of individuals has negative social consequences, including assaults, arrests, and other behavioral risks, causing potential ethical and social responsibility dilemmas for athletic departments and universities. Utilizing self-disclosed financial data (via interviews and documents) from a major college football program, this case study examines the financial implications of selling alcohol to the general public on football game days. Through proforma financial analysis, two revenue models are created to show the incremental revenue potential of alcohol sales. Results show that for this institution the incremental financial impact from alcoholic beverage sales does not create sufficient benefit to pursue this avenue of funding. This conclusion, however, must be examined within the larger resources, contextual constraints, and expectations of particular institutions for both competitive advantage and social responsibility.
Matthew Lamont and Sheranne Fairley
( Crocket, 2016 ) and the infamous end-of-season “Mad Monday” celebrations in Australia, which often attract media attention stemming from professional football players’ alcohol-fueled misdemeanors ( McIntyre, 2015 ). Despite their potential to shape both the social co-construction of event experiences and
Eldon E. Snyder
This case study analyzes a group of college athletes who were involved in a series of larcenies. A focal point of the study is that these athletes did not fit the usual profile of deviants who would commit large-scale crimes. Furthermore, the athletes in question were apparently not committing the crimes for material gain. Differential interpretations that are given to explain the athletes’ behaviors include defective character traits, the use of alcohol, peer pressure, and the quest for excitement. These interpretations and explanations are discussed within a broader interpretive model of behavior.
Patrick Peretti-Watel, Valérie Guagliardo, Pierre Verger, Patrick Mignon, Jacques Pruvost and Yolande Obadia
This study examined attitudes toward doping among 458 French elite student-athletes (ESAs) ages 16–24, their correlates, and their relationship with cigarette, alcohol, and cannabis use. We found a consensus among ESAs concerning negative aspects of doping. A cluster analysis showed, however, that statements dealing with benefits of doping were endorsed by two significant minorities of respondents. These ESAs were more frequently older males with a lower parental academic achievement and no sporting history in their family. Recreational drug use depended on whether or not ESAs endorsed statements related to nonsporting benefits of doping. Using an analytical framework from the sociology of deviance, our findings suggest that athletes who dope themselves pursue legitimate goals with illegitimate means but justify their behavior with a legitimate rationale. Further research is needed on the nonrecreational use of recreational drugs.
Michael A. Messner and William S. Solomon
This article analyzes the print media’s ideological framing of the 1991 story of boxer Sugar Ray Leonard’s admission of having physically abused his wife and abused cocaine and alcohol. We examined all news stories and editorials on the Leonard story in two major daily newspapers and one national sports daily. We found that all three papers framed the story as a “drug story,” while ignoring or marginalizing the “wife abuse” story. We argue that sports writers utilized an existing ideological “jocks-on-drugs” media package that framed this story as a moral drama of individual sin and public redemption. Finally, we describe and analyze the mechanisms through which the wife abuse story was ignored or marginalized.