We can’t believe we’re writing this after our piece on Bundaberg Rum and the NRL last week – or maybe we can.
Late on Wednesday, Jim Beam was announced as the first ever ‘official spirit’ of the Australian Football League – as if to imply Aussies passionate about their AFL don’t have enough spirit already.
Alcohol sponsorship is already rife in Australian sports; the AFL is no exception. A study in 2015 revealed there were 1,942 free-to-air alcohol advertisements during broadcasts of just one season of the AFL. Forty-seven per cent of these ads were aired between 6:00am and 8:29pm – the time alcohol ads are typically banned from free-to-air television in recognition of the harm they cause to children.
This latest deal proves that this advertising loophole is alive and well, with the $7 million contract including heavy media integration with Channel 7 and Fox Sports, allowing the alcohol industry to reach its ‘customers of tomorrow’ – our kids.
Those involved have been quick to highlight that messages about moderation from alcohol industry apologist DrinkWise will be included on branded signage “as part of both brands’ commitment to encouraging responsible drinking.”
This won’t mean much to the millions of Aussie kids watching the AFL, who will now undoubtedly be exposed to many more than 1,942 alcohol ads this footy season.