I today outlined my belief that the rumoured ban on alcohol sponsorship in sporting events should be stopped or, at the very least, delayed for a few years – possibly until after we know whether or not Ireland will be hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2023.
It has been conclusively shown in several nations that alcohol sponsorship of sports does not have a significant impact on the consumption of alcohol among the population. For instance, in France where there was a ban on alcohol sponsorship recently imposed for large sporting events, alcohol consumption has actually risen in the intervening period.
At a time like this, where Ireland’s finances are constrained and sports organisations are struggling with diminished attendances and fewer donations, we really do need to think about what a hampered level of sponsorship funding will achieve. Given that the current system of sponsorship means that the highest bid will win the sponsorship bid, it’s fanciful to think that the amount of funding won’t be affected as, in every case, the previous second-highest bidder will now win.