NSW Premier Mike Baird told an audience of over 700 people on Wednesday night that he is opposed to alcohol advertising on the uniform of Australia’s cricket team.
"I find it quite an incredible position where the captain of our cricket team sits there with a big VB on the middle [of his chest], I mean, we all love the captain of our cricket team, but I find that an incredible position."
Baird was speaking at the Take Kare gala dinner, a fundraising event for the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation. Thomas Kelly, 18, was fatally injured as a result of being punched in an unprovoked, alcohol-fuelled attack in Kings Cross in 2012. The attack was one in a spate of violent incidents in the area, which also saw 18 year-old Daniel Christie lose his life in 2013.
Despite the introduction of lockout laws and a ban on takeaway alcohol after 10pm by the state government in February 2014, Baird believes more needs to be done to address alcohol-fuelled violence. To this end, he has evidently identified sport as a key platform when it comes encouraging the responsible consumption of alcohol.
Mr Baird has been in contact with Cricket Australia to discuss alcohol advertising, and it appears that his feedback has borne results. The absence of alcohol-related advertising during the latest Big Bash competition is attributable, at least in part, to Baird. Whether he will also initiate discussions with respect to Victorian Bitter’s sponsorship of the NSW State of Origin team remains to be seen.
Baird’s comments follow a speech given by the Rev Fred Nile in the NSW Legislative Council on September 10. Calling for a ban on alcohol advertising, Rev Nile cited the International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship. In 2010 it stated that three American longitudinal studies had demonstrated that “those who viewed more alcohol ads in the seventh grade were more likely to drink in the eighth grade and to drink greater quantities in ninth grade and that each additional dollar per capita spent on alcohol advertising was associated with a 4% increase in the amount of alcohol drunk by young people.”