Women’s Rugby is leading a culture change for New Zealand by side-stepping alcohol branding in favour of sponsors that send a healthy message.
The Blues, Hurricanes and Matatu franchises have committed to refusing alcohol branding sponsorships and have partnered with Te Hiranga Hauora – The Health Promotion Agency in the upcoming Sky Super Rugby Aupiki league to display Quitstrong.nz branding.
QuitStrong is an established brand with an audience of wāhine Maori aged between 18-34 which promotes stop smoking messages and supports harm minimisation caused by alcohol sponsorship.
Health Coalition Aotearoa’s Alcohol Expert Panel Co-Chair Professor Sally Casswell says the leadership shown by women’s rugby to exclude alcohol advertising is commendable.
“These women are role models for New Zealand and now people can watch their sporting icons without being marketed harmful alcoholic products at the same time,” she said.
“Removing alcohol sponsorship from sports and major events is a priority policy that, evidence shows, will denormalise the drinking culture prevalent within our national sport.
“Health Coalition Aotearoa is looking ahead to the forth coming review of our alcohol legislation and hopes the Government will take action to restrict alcohol marketing in other areas.
“The Health Coalition Aotearoa sees this as a very welcome step in the right direction towards an Aotearoa New Zealand free from the marketing of alcohol products,” Casswell said.
“We hope the men’s teams can learn from the example shown by the women’s teams and help shift the drinking culture away from our national sport.”