Baseball Australia becomes first local sports code to ban alcohol advertising

National sports body Baseball Australia has pledged to no longer accept alcohol advertising in its junior competitions and at the national representative level of the game.

The code becomes the first sports body to refuse alcohol advertising, a $120m a year market in Australia. However the move does not apply to the eight Australian Baseball League teams, with three of them counting beer brands among their sponsors.

The three teams are the Adelaide Bite which counts Yak Ales as a partner while Geelong Korea and the Melbourne Aces both list Two Birds Brewing as a sponsor.

Despite this, Baseball Australia chief executive Cam Vale was enthusiastic about the move, saying: “Baseball Australia is proud to partner with the End Alcohol Advertising in Sport campaign.

“Our junior players, and the kids and families who support Baseball in Australia are the future of our code. They are tomorrow’s players, superstars and fans of our sport, and in partnering with End Alcohol Advertising in Sport, we aspire to create a healthier sporting environment for them all to thrive.

Vale said Baseball Australia recently rejected a sponsorship proposal with an unnamed overseas alcohol brand.

“Sport is a competitive market in Australia and we are not alone in positioning our particular game as being focused on junior participation and development; however, better leadership from sporting administrators is required.

“Our Little League program, which is part of the broader Little League International platform, promotes values of citizenship, discipline, teamwork and physical well-being, which perfectly align with the values and spirit of this particular partnership” he said.

Baseball Australia’s three-year partnership with End Alcohol Advertising in Sport will see the campaign promoted nationally at Little League games, promoted on Baseball Australia’s digital and media platforms, and distributed to the baseball clubs and members throughout Australia.

End Alcohol Advertising in Sport spokesperson, Michael Thorn congratulated
Baseball Australia, saying: “Baseball Australia have today shown leadership that is sadly lacking in too many of our national sporting codes.

“Sport can and should be a powerful force for good. Rather than simply condemning player transgressions, sporting codes must show leadership,
and that starts with walking away from alcohol advertising dollars, as Baseball Australia is doing.”

In 2017, sports bodies united against a NSW government proposal which would have seen alcohol advertising in games being severely restricted.


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