The summer sporting season is now in full swing and our Booze Free Sport campaign has its sights set on Cricket Australia.
Just look around at all the alcohol promotion and consider, what is Cricket Australia selling its millions of young fans during the Victoria Bitter One Day International series?
With Victoria Bitter as the official beer of the Australian Test team and Hardys as the official wine, alcohol will again feature more prominently than all the cricket stars from Australia or Pakistan, regardless of how well they perform with bat or ball.
The latest data shows that 6.2 million children are exposed to 11 million alcohol advertisements during cricket broadcasting.
Last season, New South Wales Premier Mike Baird voiced concerns that “… the captain of our cricket team sits there with a big VB on the middle [of his shirt]”.
Captain Steve Smith attempted to defend this suggesting, “we’re promoting the brand, not the consumption of alcohol”. However, all the evidence suggests that this is not the case.
When Australia celebrated its 2015 ICC World Cup win, the post-match discussion led by Shane Warne focused not on our team’s outstanding performance on the field, but how “thirsty” the players were and how they were going to celebrate with booze.
What kind of message does this alcohol-drenched culture send to the many impressionable young Australians who tune in to watch their sporting heroes play?
Children and families should be able to enjoy the game without being targeted by aggressive alcohol promotions.
That’s why we’re calling on team captain Steve Smith and Cricket Australia to rethink their unhealthy association with alcohol sponsors and replace these with more family friendly partnerships.
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To find out more, visit fare.org.au/boozefreesport/