SOURCE: TEAM Coalition

December 28, 2007 14:02 ET

Ravens Fans Score Big With Designated Drivers

M&T Bank Stadium Boasts 14,000 Designated Drivers, Top in League

BALTIMORE, MD--(Marketwire - December 28, 2007) - The Baltimore Ravens are one of six NFL teams being recognized for their large number of fans pledging to be designated drivers at home games this season, the TEAM Coalition (Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management) announced today. The Ravens join the Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins, Chicago Bears, San Diego Chargers, and Jacksonville Jaguars in this prestigious ranking to save lives on our nation's highways.

At the Ravens home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Dec. 30, TEAM Coalition will recognize the Ravens and their fans at a pregame ceremony for their continued effort to make our roadways safe. Representatives of the Maryland State Highway Administration, Anheuser-Busch, and ARAMARK will join TEAM at the event.

"We want the game day experience to continue to be safe and enjoyable for Ravens fans while they enjoy M&T Bank Stadium and as they travel home after the games," said Roy Sommerhof, vice president of Stadium Operations for the Baltimore Ravens. "We're proud of our fans' commitment to responsible behavior and thrilled to reward them with such a great opportunity."

Through the Anheuser-Busch Good Sport program, 14,000 Ravens fans promised to refrain from drinking and be the designated drivers to get their friends and family home safely from the games played at M&T Bank Stadium this season. TEAM Coalition has been aggressively promoting the designated-driver program at NFL stadiums since 2003 with a league-wide campaign called Responsibility Has Its Rewards. The campaign encourages fans to participate in designated-driver programs supported by beer and concessionaire companies at every NFL stadium nationwide.

"Tying 'Responsibility Has Its Rewards' to our season-long 'Good Sport' program makes everyone a winner," said Carol Clark, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility for Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. "We're pleased to work with TEAM, the Baltimore Ravens and the National Football League to recognize Ravens fans who look out for each other and make a designated driver part of their game plan. When it comes to preventing drunk driving, we're all part of the team."

"As a founding member of TEAM Coalition, we understand the importance of working closely with our clients and partners to ensure fans make responsible decisions when it comes to alcohol," said Ned Paynter, executive vice president of ARAMARK Stadiums & Arenas. "We remain fully committed to those we serve and the designated-driver program is an important component of the alcohol management program at M&T Bank Stadium."

During the 2006 NFL season, more than 100,000 football fans planned ahead and made the responsible, winning play by pledging to be designated drivers. This season, the league-wide total is estimated to be 110,000.

"This promotion is an opportunity for the NFL to show support for the teams' efforts in coordination with the concessionaire, brewer, and beer wholesaler to encourage responsible fan behavior. And for the fans, it's a great reminder that responsibility really does have its rewards," said Jill Pepper, executive director of the TEAM Coalition.

One lucky Ravens fan will be selected by TEAM Coalition as the Ravens Designated Driver of the season. That fan will be entered in a drawing to win a trip to the 2008 NFL Pro Bowl® in Honolulu, Hawaii. The winner of that prize will be selected by TEAM Coalition through a random drawing after the NFC and AFC Champions are determined. And the Designated Drivers of the Season from the two teams competing in the Super Bowl® will join their favorite teams at Super Bowl XLII® which will be played on February 3, 2008 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona.

Recognition of the Ravens fans' commitment to the designated-driver program coincides with the Department of Transportation's national enforcement crackdown on drunk drivers called Drunk Driving: Over the Limit. Under Arrest.

"We want to congratulate the Ravens and their fans and remind everyone that true football Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk," said Maryland State Highway Administrator Neil Pedersen. "If you plan on consuming alcohol whether you are at the game or watching from a house party or sports bar, pass your keys to a sober, designated driver before the party begins. We commend all the Responsibility Has Its Rewards campaign partners for creating such a fantastic incentive for fans who make the responsible decision to designate a driver."

Fortunately, football fans join millions of Americans in doing "the ride thing." According to the 2007 Designated Driver poll conducted by Nielsen Media Research, 154 million Americans have been a designated driver or have been driven home by one.

TEAM Coalition -- an alliance of professional and collegiate sports, entertainment facilities, concessionaries, stadium service providers, the beer industry, broadcasters, traffic safety experts and others working together to promote responsible drinking and positive fan behavior at sports and entertainment facilities.

For more information, please visit www.TeamCoalition.org or www.rhir.org.

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