Alcohol sponsorship occurs when alcohol companies financially support local events such as concerts, community festivals, or sporting events in exchange for promotions and advertisements. This oftentimes involves distribution of merchandise with the sponsor’s logo, turning event-goers into walking advertisements. However, it can function in other ways, such as advertisements being screened at the event. On a bigger scale, the name of the event may even be associated with the company. Alcohol sponsorships are highly regulated, often compared to the regulation of tobacco advertisements. They are banned entirely in several countries, and many communities have passed ordinances restricting this type of activity, but this issue is more political and thus irrelevant to our study.
We will examine how the selection of events to sponsor reflects large alcohol companies’ gender targeting patterns, and how receptive different groups are to this type of advertising.
The overwhelming majority of alcohol-sponsored events are sports-related, and even more are specific to beer. Distilled spirits must be accompanied with a “drink responsibly” disclaimer, and though this may attribute somewhat to beer’s prevalence in this area, it is more likely that advertising companies are exploiting male gender stereotypes. Still, certain “girly” liquors have found ways to sponsor more artistically-centered events.
Widespread campaigns meant to appeal to men:
-Anheuser-Busch (more well known for their Budweiser branch) sponsoring Nascar events
-Heineken is well know for sponsoring the UEFA (Union of European Football Associations)
-Coors Brewing company sponsors a number of leagues including NFL and NASCAR as well as a handful of teams: Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings , Phoenix Coyotes, hockey teams in Canada and Colorado Rockies baseball team.
-dos equis is the official beer sponsor of the Breeder’s cup
Widespread campaigns meant to appeal to women:
-Absolut vodka is known for sponsoring art competitions which feature winning designs on limited-edition bottles, often in fruity or “feminine” flavors
-Skyy Vodka sponsored the 2001 Sundance Film Festival
–Smirnoff owns the naming rights to the Smirnoff Music Centre, a concert ampitheater located in Dallas Texas
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“http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/52183/dos-equis-is-official-beer-sponsor-of-cup.” Blood Horse. 19 Aug. 2009. Web. 2 May 2010. <http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/52183/dos-equis-is-official-beer-sponsor-of-cup>.
Ryan, D. “Absolut Sponsorship Boosts Vancouver Arts Scene.” Vancouver Sun. 10 Nov. 2009. Web. 2 May 2010. <www.vancouversun.com>.