Drink Tank

Tooheys deal comes up short

The New South Wales Blues have announced a deal with Japanese-owned beer company Lion worth a cool $4 million over four years.

Drink Tank knew this deal was coming. Just not the finer details.

Lion say they are prepared to invest $1 million dollars a year to get their Tooheys brand onto the shorts of a team of perennial losers that have lost eleven of their past twelve series, for a measly three game series. Odds are, their team will likely once again end in defeat.

If ever there was a telling example of the pulling power of professional sport, and the value of aligning your brand with a high profile professional sporting team, then it is this deal. For this is no crapshoot. Lion are not blindly betting the house on black, or in this case, blue.

No – this is a calculated move, with no down side for Lion who successfully partnered up with the Blues for 13 years from 1993. Win, or more likely, lose, Lion still come out ahead. $4 million dollars is how much Lion is prepared to invest in winning new customers. And they wouldn’t do it if it didn’t work.

Its sponsorship deals like this that make a liar out of Big Alcohol, and bring into sharp relief the concerns of the Booze Free Sport campaign.

It is acknowledged that repeated exposure to alcohol promotion is associated with young people drinking more and from an earlier age. And while we see young victims being needlessly harmed, the alcohol industry sees only their customers of tomorrow. Drink Tank can only hope that the naming partner and front-of-the-jersey sponsor for NSW – to be announced in November – will consider the impact their brand will have on Australian children.

A majority of Australians care about this issue. Drink Tank encourages all of our readers to add their support to the Booze Free Sport campaign.



Drink Tank aims to generate meaningful commentary and debate about alcohol policy, and to provide a platform for all members of the Australian community to share their views and concerns.

Our goal is for the Drink Tank community to engage in robust discussion about alcohol, highlighting a broad spectrum of views and voices, and ultimately to raise the profile of alcohol as an issue of national importance.

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