Alcohol industry sponsorship influences hazardous drinking in sports people when compared to non-alcohol sponsorship, found in a recent research.
Health scientists from Monash University, the University of Manchester, Deakin University and University of Western Sydney, asked Australian sportspeople about their drinking behaviors, sport participation, and what sorts of sport sponsorship they currently receive.
After accounting for other influences receipt of alcohol industry sponsorship in various forms was associated with significantly higher levels of drinking. Receipt of similar forms of sponsorship from non-alcohol industries such as, building firms, food or clothing companies was not related to higher drinking levels.
Of the 30 per cent of sportspeople reporting receiving alcohol industry sponsorship, 68 per cent met World Health Organization criteria for classification as hazardous drinkers.
The research is the first to compare alcohol industry sponsorship to non-alcohol industry sponsorship.
Study lead Dr Kerry O'Brien said "The results will be unsurprising to sportspeople or the alcohol industry, but we wondered whether the financial resources provided from non-alcohol industry sponsors might also increase drinking through the simple provision of additional funds for young sportspeople to spend on alcohol. It didn't. It seems specific to alcohol industry sponsorship."
Figures from marketing analysts suggest that major alcohol companies spend up to 80 per cent of advertising and sponsorship budgets promoting alcohol via sports.
The study has been published online in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism.