Responding to SHAAP’s report on alcohol sponsorship of football, Matt Lambert, CEO of the Portman Group, the alcohol social responsibility body and marketing regulator, said:

“SHAAP’s report shows that out of the 7,807 main sponsors identified, only 6.4% are alcohol-related in Scotland and 5.5% in England. It is not surprising that alcohol companies seek to sponsor the food and drink outlets in stadiums, which is why we assume that the report identified 72.5% of football teams having at least one alcohol-related sponsor/partner. This is to encourage consumers to choose their brand, rather than seeking to expand a market.

“The Portman Group has regulated alcohol marketing since 2003. We have a Code that ensures children are protected from alcohol marketing at sports, music and cultural events and that marketing is appropriate. This is an approach that we know works, with many producers using their brands to showcase responsibility messages at major events.

“Equally, there is a wider value in alcohol advertising and sponsorship funding for communities, business, and sports. We know that there has been an increase in advertising spend over the past decade in Scotland, while at the same time there has been a considerable fall in alcohol related harms and especially children’s drinking.”

Sources: Analysis of alcohol advertising and sponsorship marketing spend, alcohol consumption, and alcohol specific harms, Credos, August 2022; Scottish Government, November 2019