Good Sport encourages Blue Jays fans to be designated drivers
TORONTO, April 9, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, Budweiser is launching the sports
world's most successful designated driver program in Canada at the
Toronto Blue Jays homeopener. Budweiser Good Sport encourages fans to
volunteer as designated drivers to and from the stadium, and helps to
increase awareness of fan responsibility in partnership with stadium
operators, team owners and concessionaires.
Good Sport partners with teams in Major League Baseball, the National
Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey
League and Major League Soccer and is featured in nearly 100 major
league stadiums in the U.S., including 21 MLB teams.
"During the 2011 season, nearly 300,000 fans signed up at Major League
Baseball games to be a designated driver as part of the Budweiser Good
Sport program," said Charlie Angelakos, Vice President of Corporate
Affairs for Labatt Breweries of Canada. "We expect about 10,000 fans
to participate in Toronto. When you think that there are more than
2,800 alcohol-related vehicle deaths a year in Canada, this initiative
alone could help us greatly in the fight against drinking and driving,
which remains a major concern for Canadians."
Through highly visible sign-up carts, signage in stadium, and public
service announcements, Good Sport educates fans at stadiums about the
importance of having a designated driver. Experience has shown that the
visibility of Good Sport materials not only increases participation,
but also contributes to overall awareness of moderation. In fact,
program participation has grown at about 7 per cent per year since it
was introduced. The message of the program, which has been recognized
and praised by politicians in many U.S. cities, is simple: "When you're
a Good Sport, everybody wins."
"The Toronto Blue Jays are excited to partner with Budweiser in
launching the Good Sport program for the first time in Canada. Major
League Baseball is committed to responsible fan behaviour both during
games and on the drive home," said Paul Beeston, President and CEO of
the Toronto Blue Jays and the Rogers Centre. "With approximately 55 per
cent of Blue Jays' fans driving to the game, the Good Sport program
will certainly make an impact in decreasing potential drinking and
driving incidences through fan education."
Awareness resulting from a variety of designated driver and other
programs has contributed to a continued and consistent decrease in the
number of fatalities involving a drinking driver in Canada.
According to the Ottawa-based Traffic Injury Research Foundation,
Canadians continue to regard drinking and driving as a priority
concern, ranking it a close second among all societal issues and first
among all road safety issues. Between 1995 and 2009, the number of
Canadians who died in motor vehicle crashes involving a drinking driver
declined 44.9 per cent and this trend appears to be continuing.
Moreover, 27 per cent of Canadians report they have personally acted as
a designated driver at least once in the past 30 days.
About the Budweiser "Good Sport" Program
Good Sport has been a success because of its team approach - the team,
the facility, concessionaires, the police and Budweiser. All
stakeholders are committed to positively promoting responsible alcohol
consumption, and encouraging fans to step up and become designated
drivers for their family and friends.
Good Sport includes "We. I.D." communication tools for effective legal
drinking age identification, complementing existing "Smart Serve"
server training assisted by the Toronto Police Service.
The centerpiece of Good Sport is the Designated Driver Program. At
every Blue Jays home game, Budweiser and the Blue Jays will host
sign-up booths for designated drivers. Located at the 100 and 500
levels of the Rogers Centre, fans can sign a pledge that they will
refrain from drinking during the game and will provide a safe ride home
to the family and friends with them.
In return for signing the Good Sport pledge, designated drivers will
receive a free coupon for a soft drink and be entered into a draw to
win a Good Sport gift package. Winners will be announced in the 6th
inning of every Blue Jays home game. Throughout the game, the Good
Sport Designated Driver Program will be featured on Jumbotron public
Labatt Responsible Enjoyment initiatives
For a quarter century, Labatt Breweries of Canada has been a Canadian
leader in encouraging consumers to enjoy our beer responsibly and
moderately and in the fight against drinking and driving - the societal
issue that concerns more Canadians than any other. Labatt is a pioneer
in developing partnerships to encourage moderation and discourage
Labatt's vision is to be the Canadian leader in the fight against
drinking and driving and the country's pre-eminent voice of
moderation. We constantly update our programming to ensure it remains
relevant and effective. Major initiatives include:
Family Talk About Drinking - a Prevention Program
In October 2011, Labatt launched its latest innovative responsible
drinking initiative, the Family Talk About Drinking prevention program, which includes the Family Talk website and the Labatt Family Talk Parent Guide. Parents can use the Family Talk program, which draws on the knowledge and experience of experts in this
field, to talk to their children about making smart, safe decisions
about alcohol. Via a public service email, Labatt directed
approximately 1 million Canadian mothers, about 25 per cent of the
total moms in Canada, to the Canadian Better Living Family Talk television show.
Be(er) Responsible Day
Labatt employees share the company's responsible drinking philosophy
with consumers and partner with wholesalers, distributors and retailers
to extend the reach of our message. In 2011, Be(er) Responsible Day
was tied to our most recent and very successful new program called Take the Pledge. Teams of employees wearing Take the Pledge t-shirts visited university and college campuses across Canada during
"back to school" and Frosh Week to get students to "Take the Pledge" in real time.
Take the Pledge
Take the Pledge asked Canadians to sign a pledge that they will not drink and drive.
Across Canada, the Take the Pledge campaign's billboard and street level ads showed just how far people
will go to avoid drinking and driving -- for example sleeping on the
back of a statue, on a park slide and atop a tree branch. The campaign
directed consumers to Labatt's responsible drinking Facebook page where
they "signed" a pledge to not drink and drive. In appreciation, Labatt
donated $1 to the True Patriot Love Foundation in support of Canadian
Know When to Draw the Line
One of Canada's longest running and most widely recognized campaigns, Know When to Draw the Line (À Vous de Tracer Votre Ligne de Conduite in Quebec) has become a
synonym for the responsible enjoyment of alcohol from coast to coast.
Make a Plan
Labatt's "Make a Plan" campaign was first launched in 2005 and focused
on helping Canadians plan ahead for the responsible and safe enjoyment
of alcohol to further reduce the incidence of drinking and driving.
Launched in 2010, this original web series promoted through Facebook and
YouTube encourages discussion and responsible consumption among young
Budweiser TV Ad Designates Holiday Drivers
A new Budweiser TV spot, "Great times wait for the designated driver,"
aired Canada-wide during the holiday season. It underscored the
importance and widespread acceptance of having a designated driver when
going out to social, sporting and entertainment events. It reinforced
Labatt's clear, consistent message: "Don't drink and drive."
Operation Red Nose/Nez Rouge
For the third consecutive year in 2011, Labatt participated in Operation
Red Nose/Nez Rouge in Quebec, with volunteers taking the wheel for
people who didn't feel comfortable driving their own vehicles home
during the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Montreal's City Bus as Designated Driver
Labatt and the Société de transport de Montréal joined forces to invite festival goers and night owls to select a night
bus as their "designated driver." The initiative promoted the use of
public transit "after hours" in downtown Montreal.
SOURCE Labatt Breweries of Canada
For further information:
Labatt Breweries of Canada
Toronto Blue Jays