The Joint Committee on Transport & Communications launched their report on Sponsorship of Sport by the Alcohol Drinks Industry on Tuesday 2nd of July. The Report found that such sponsorship should remain in place until such time as it can be replaced by other identifiable streams of comparable funding.
Speaking at the launch, Committee Vice-Chair John O’Mahony T.D. emphasised that it was the Committee’s function to look at the issue from a sport perspective. The Committee had found that there was a real risk that the removal of the funding for sport sourced through alcohol sponsorship would a detrimental impact on promotion of and participation in sport. They were cognisant of the reality that in the current climate replacement funding was not available.
Fianna Fail spokesperson on sport, Timmy Dooley T.D. also emphasised the practicalities around such a ban particularly given the size of Ireland viz-a-viz the rest of Europe and the reality that much of our sports content is broadcast from the UK and other European disadvantages. The Committee felt that the introduction of such a ban was not something that was practical for Ireland to lead on given the size of our market in order, to be effective such a ban would need to be implemented at a European Union level.
Other recommendations outlined in the Committee Report included:
- A Code of Practice for the consumption of alcohol within stadia should be drawn up by all sporting organisations
- A fixed percentage of all sponsorship received by each and every organisation from the alcohol drinks industry, should be ring-fenced and paid into a central fund to be administered by an appropriate body with the funds being used exclusively for Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Programmes
- Sponsorship of sport to be treated in the same way as sponsorship of arts, music and other festivals
- A code should be introduced for all brand owners and right-holders to provide responsible training in selling, advertising and marketing and to promote responsible drinking at all sponsored events
- All sporting organisations be encouraged to support programmes which contribute to social inclusion in order to reduce the abuse of alcohol, particularly among young people; and