DrinkWise launches ‘Always respect, always DrinkWise’ campaign ahead of AFL Gather Round

April 5, 2024
By Cody Profaca

DrinkWise have announced that it will be focusing its resources into South Australia during this weekend’s AFL Gather Round through the targeted promotion of its Always respect, always DrinkWise campaign.

The non-profit social change organisation has teamed up with South Australian Government, South Australian Police, Adelaide Metro, and support services 1800RESPECT, Men’s Referral Service and 13YARN to help reinforce its message about the importance of moderation and being respectful during the upcoming football fixture. 

“With 82% of AFL fans stating that having a drink or two at a sporting event is an Australian tradition, the Always respect, always DrinkWise campaign serves as a reminder that if you’re choosing to drink whether you’re watching the game at the ground, the pub or at home – it should be consumed responsibly,” said Simon Strahan, CEO at DrinkWise.

“We don’t want to moderate the excitement around Gather Round, but we do want fans to moderate their consumption.”

The campaign will be promoted through billboard advertisements in high-traffic areas in greater Adelaide, including at the arrivals hall of the Adelaide airport and via a digital mobile messaging truck. Campaign messaging will also be shared through Coles Liquor, Endeavour Group, Retail Drinks Australia and Australian Hotels Associations South Australia liquor retail outlets and hotel venues city wide. 

“As a nation, Australians are drinking more moderately than ever before and this has become evident within the AFL community,” said Strahan. 

“Our new research has shown that 93% of AFL fans agree they typically drink responsibly at events and 94% believe an event can be ruined if people drink too much. These statistics demonstrate that drinking behaviours are improving and trending in a positive direction.”

The campaign has also received support from North Melbourne Football Club team member Aidan Corr. 

“While we know some fans enjoy a drink or two while watching their favourite AFL stars battle it out on the field, it’s important that they do that in moderation so that they and those around them can enjoy all the great moments of our game,” he said.

“It can be easy to get caught up in the moment, especially when your team manages to kick a goal at the last minute, so it’s important to look after each other and be mindful of keeping an eye on how much alcohol you’re drinking.”

The weekend will also feature free public transport to and from each AFL match to help minimise drink driving occurrences. 

“Safety is always our number one priority when it comes to major sporting events and the AFL Gather Round is no exception,” said Joe Szakacs MP, Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services.

“Anyone attending these matches needs to ensure they are behaving responsibly and moderating their consumption of alcohol. If you’re going to have a drink while watching the game, then don’t think about driving at all – catch the free public transport or designate a driver so that you can get home safely.”

DrinkWise was first established in 2005 and is an independent and not-for-profit organisation that partners with government, community leaders and organisations to bring about its ongoing goal of creating a safer drinking culture in Australia.

A few recent DrinkWise initiatives include the revival of its underage drinking campaign, its free ‘Stay tasteful while tasting’ scratchies that all cellars doors are encouraged to use, a campaign to raise awareness about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and the rollout of in-store signage offering easy access to alcohol abuse support services across all 960 national Liquorland, First Choice Liquor Market, and Vintage Cellars stores.

For more information, visit drinkwise.org.au.

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