Responsibility Has Its Rewards: Responsible Major League Soccer Supporters Earn Ultimate Reward at MLS Cup 2013

        Print
| Source: TEAM Coalition
photo-release

(Left to Right) JoAnn Neale, MLS Chief Administrative Officer; Lisa Briggs, Guest of Winner; Trish Ferry, Real Salt Lake Winner; Jennifer Wilton, Sporting Kansas City Winner; Eric Huxtable, Guest of Winner; Jared Smalley, TEAM Coalition Event Manager

Kansas City, Dec. 9, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kansas City, Kan. (12/9/2013) - As Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake close the door on the 2013 season after amazing performances at MLS Cup 2013™, two supporters and their guests are reminiscing about the experience of a lifetime.  Jennifer Wilton, from Overland Park, Kan., the Sporting Kansas City Designated Driver for the Season and Trish Ferry, a supporter from Tooele, Utah, representing Real Salt Lake, were selected as the grand prize winners of the "Responsibility Has Its Rewards" sweepstakes. The sweepstakes is in its eighth season, provided by Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition with support from Major League Soccer (MLS).  It continues to succeed in raising awareness for the designated driver programs offered by MLS clubs. Both winners and their guests attended MLS Cup 2013™ at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. on Saturday, December 7. The winners were recognized on the field at halftime of the game after having been selected from among the record 26,947 supporters who pledged to be designated drivers at MLS games throughout the 2013 season, ensuring a safe ride home for their friends and family.  

The top three MLS clubs for designated drivers in 2013 are:

  • Seattle Sounders FC: 4,826 designated drivers
  • Real Salt Lake: 4,056 designated drivers
  • New England Revolution: 3,387 designated drivers

 "One of Major League Soccer's top priorities is the safety of our supporters, and our partnership with TEAM Coalition is an excellent program that provides a positive message," said Evan Dabby, MLS senior director of Supporter Relations & Safety and TEAM Coalition second Vice Chairman. "We're pleased to work with TEAM Coalition to promote responsible habits."

"Anheuser-Busch has led our industry in promoting responsible drinking for 30 years and Budweiser Good Sport, which reminds supporters who choose to drink to do so responsibly and get their friends home safely, is one of our most visible programs," said Kathy Casso, vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility at Anheuser-Busch. "We all share the same streets after the game. This partnership with Major League Soccer, participating stadiums, concessionaires, TEAM Coalition and soccer supporters displays our collective responsibility to help keep our roads safe." Anheuser-Busch and its wholesalers promote responsible drinking among MLS supporters by implementing Budweiser Good Sport fan-responsibility programs with 10 MLS venues throughout the season.

At Soccer Celebration - the festival held outside of Sporting Park before MLS Cup 2013™ - several MLS supporters pledged to be responsible by promising to always have a designated driver and never drive drunk. Those responsible MLS supporters received souvenir photos and fans over 21 received free Budweiser and El Jimador giveaways, as champions of responsibility. The promotion for supporters at Soccer Celebration was a partnership between TEAM Coalition, MLS, Budweiser and el Jimador. 

"We are excited to work with the other members of TEAM Coalition and build upon our efforts to encourage responsible drinking," said Brown-Forman's Director of Corporate Responsibility, Rob Frederick. "Sporting events and concerts should be safe and fun for everyone, and I believe through collaboration we can more effectively promote positive fan behavior."

"All the responsibility programs we offered this season were great examples of how MLS and the league partners are able to show support for the clubs' efforts in coordination with the concessionaires, distillers, the brewers and the local beer wholesalers to encourage responsible supporter behavior," said Jill Pepper, executive director, TEAM Coalition. "Teamwork is what the Responsibility Has Its Rewards campaign is all about. It is proof that when everyone - including the supporters - takes responsibility, everyone wins."


About MLS
Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. MLS features many stars from the U.S., Canada, and around the world. Major League Soccer's 18th season features 19 clubs each playing 34 regular-season matches. Those clubs include the Chicago Fire; Chivas USA; Colorado Rapids; Columbus Crew; D.C. United; FC Dallas; Houston Dynamo; 2012 MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy; Montreal Impact; New York Red Bulls; New England Revolution; Philadelphia Union; Portland Timbers; Real Salt Lake; San Jose Earthquakes; Seattle Sounders FC; Sporting Kansas City; Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. New York City FC was unveiled May 21, 2013 and Orlando City SC was unveiled November 19, 2013. For more information about MLS, log on to the league's official website at www.MLSsoccer.com.

About Anheuser-Busch
For more than three decades, Anheuser-Busch and its nationwide network of wholesalers have invested more than $980 million in national advertising campaigns and community-based programs to promote responsible drinking, prevent underage drinking and drunk driving and address college issues. For more information on these alcohol responsibility efforts and the progress being made, visit www.anheuser-busch.com. Budweiser is the Official Beer of Major League Soccer and proudly sponsors 10 of the 19 MLS clubs.


About Brown-Forman For 140 years, Brown-Forman Corporation has enriched the experience of life by responsibly building fine quality beverage alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, Southern Comfort, Finlandia, Jack Daniel's & Cola, Canadian Mist, Korbel, Gentleman Jack, el Jimador, Herradura, Sonoma-Cutrer, Chambord, New Mix, Tuaca, and Woodford Reserve. Brown-Forman's brands are supported by nearly 3,900 employees and sold in approximately 135 countries worldwide. Brown-Forman's el Jimador is the Official Tequila of Major League Soccer.

For more information go to www.brown-forman.com

About TEAM Coalition
TEAM Coalition is an alliance of professional and collegiate sports, entertainment facilities, concessionaries, stadium service providers, the beer industry, distillers, broadcasters, traffic safety experts and others working together to promote responsible drinking and positive fan behavior at sports and entertainment facilities. TEAM Coalition members and supporters include Major League Soccer, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, NASCAR, National Football League, National Hockey League, National Collegiate Athletic Association, ARAMARK, Delaware North Companies - Sportservice, Ovations Food Services, Beer Institute, National Beer Wholesalers Association, Anheuser-Busch Companies, MillerCoors, Brown-Forman, Live Nation, National Association of Broadcasters, Contemporary Services Corporation, Elite, International Association of Venue Managers, Stadium Managers Association and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

US DOT / NHTSA 2012 NATIONAL DATA: In 2012, 10,322 people were killed as a result of alcohol-related (BAC > 0.08) car crashes, an increase of 4.6% from the 9,865 fatalities in 2011. Many, if not most of those lives would have been saved if people did not drive when they were impaired by alcohol or if they used sober, designated drivers or if they simply wore their seat belts. Statistics and research clearly show that 21-34 year old males are the demographic most likely to be involved in an automobile crash, drive when impaired by alcohol, and fail to buckle up.
   

###

A photo accompanying this release is available at:
http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=22602

Jill Pepper, TEAM Coalition 202-669-0357