3. Guidelines around alcohol sponsorship

Best practice

In 2014, a Ministerial Forum was tasked to review alcohol sponsorship in New Zealand. They recommended the following in their report:

  • Ban alcohol sponsorship of all streamed and broadcast sports.
  • Ban on alcohol sponsorship of sport (long-term).
  • Ban alcohol sponsorship (naming rights) at all venues.
  • Ban alcohol sponsorship of cultural and music events where 10% or more of participants and audiences younger than 18.
  • Introduce a sponsorship replacement funding programme.
  • Introduce a targeted programme to reduce reliance on alcohol sponsorship funding.

Read more about the harm from sponsorship in the Advertising and Sponsorship section.

Many other countries are equally concerned about alcohol sponsorship of sporting events and clubs. In  France, no sponsorship is permitted of sporting teams or events.


The situation in New Zealand

New Zealand's ASA Code for Alcohol Advertising has the following 'rules' for alcohol sponsorship:

Principle 4 – Sponsorship advertisements shall clearly and primarily promote the sponsored activity, team or individual. The sponsor, the sponsorship and items incidental to them, may be featured only in a subordinate manner.

Guidelines for sponsorship:

  • Alcohol producers, distributors or retailers should not engage in sponsorship where those under 18 years of age are likely to comprise more than 25% of the participants, or spectators.
  • Sponsors shall not require or permit sponsored parties to feature alcohol branding on children’s size replica sports kit or on any promotional material distributed to minors.

Guidelines for sponsorship advertisements

  • Shall not contain a sales message.
  • Shall not show a product or product packaging.
  • Shall not imitate or use any parts of product advertisements from any media.
  • Shall not portray consumption of alcohol
  • Shall only briefly and in a subordinate way mention or portray the sponsor’s name and/or brand name and/or logo orally and/or visually.
  • May be broadcast at any time except during programmes intended particularly for minors.