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Heineken's F1 deal throws fuel on alcohol sports sponsorship fire among campaigners

Public health organisations from around the world are calling for an end to alcohol sponsorship in Formula 1 following Heineken's recently launched deal with the sport.

The European Alcohol Policy Alliance (Eurocare) today slammed the five-year deal, which is estimated to be worth £150m, and said that alcohol brands are now dominating sponsorships in F1.

MariannSkar, secretary general in the European Alcohol Policy Alliance, said that F1 should ask itself if it wants to be a "motorsport or an alcohol brand event".

"When monitoring F1 in Monaco Grand Prix 2015, we found 11 references to alcohol brands per minute, averaging one reference every five seconds. How will it be when Heineken comes in as main sponsor in addition to the others? If both the sport and the drinks producers want to be seen as responsible industries, they should stop this deal and move away from alcohol sponsorship in F1”.

Eurocare added that It is "surprising" that F1 and Heineken view their sponsorship practice as "something other than advertising".

From the 2017 season onwards Heineken will be the exclusive 'global beer partner' of Formula 1 and will also have 'substantial' pouring, activation and access rights across the majority of F1 events in the FIA Formula One World Championship.

The brand last week said that it will use the partnership to push its 'Open Your World' positioning, as well as a platform to promote its responsibility messaging, 'If You Drive, Never Drink'.

Heineken had not responded to a request for comment by the time this article was published.

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