Responsible Major League Soccer Supporters Earn Ultimate Reward at 2015 MLS Cup™

Alexandria, Virginia, UNITED STATES

Columbus, OH, Dec. 07, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Columbus Crew SC and the Portland Timbers provided a grand finale to the Major League Soccer season at the 2015 MLS Cup™, and today two supporters and their guests are reminiscing about the experience of a lifetime. 

Michael Flickinger, from Dublin, OH, the Columbus Crew SC Designated Driver for the Season and Andrea Tyler, a supporter from Portland, OR, representing the Portland Timbers, were selected as the grand prize winners of the “Responsibility Has Its Rewards” sweepstakes. The sweepstakes is in its eleventh 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 the 2015 MLS Cup™ at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, OH on Sunday, December 6. The winners were able to watch pregame warm-ups on the field after having been selected from among the 32,078 supporters who pledged to be designated drivers at MLS games throughout the 2015 season, ensuring a safe ride home for their friends and family.

The top three MLS clubs for designated drivers in 2015 are:

  • Seattle Sounders FC: 9,259 designated drivers
  • New England Revolution: 5,520 designated drivers
  • Real Salt Lake: 4,907 designated drivers

“Major League Soccer is happy to support and continue to work alongside TEAM Coalition in support of the key objectives of improving the game day experience for all our guests, together with the extremely successful Responsibility Has Its Rewards and the Designated Driver programs,” said Ray Whitworth, MLS Vice President of Operations & Security and TEAM Coalition second Vice Chairman. “The work that TEAM continues to be involved in can only make our events safer and more secure for all attending and supporting soccer. We are privileged to be a partner with TEAM.”

“HEINEKEN USA is proud to be a member of TEAM Coalition and promote responsibility throughout the MLS season,” said Tara Rush, Senior Vice President and Chief of Corporate Relations at HEINEKEN USA. “The Responsibility Has Its Rewards program is an engaging way to support designated drivers in making responsible decisions. By working with TEAM Coalition and MLS, we support a fun and safe environment for our fans to enjoy the great game of soccer.”

“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 features 20 clubs throughout the United States and Canada. The 2015 season features the most comprehensive U.S. media rights partnership in the history of the league, as eight-year agreements with ESPN, FOX Sports and Univision Deportes commenced. For more information about MLS, visit

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, Americrown, Aramark, Delaware North Sportservice, Legends, Spectra, Beer Institute, National Beer Wholesalers Association, Anheuser-Busch, Constellation Brands, HEINEKEN USA, MillerCoors, Brown-Forman, Live Nation, National Association of Broadcasters, Contemporary Services Corporation, International Association of Venue Managers, Stadium Managers Association and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For more information, visit and



  • In 2013, 10,076 people were killed as a result of alcohol-related (BAC > 0.08) car crashes, a decrease of 2.4% from the 10,322 fatalities in 2012.
  • 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.




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