SOURCE: TEAM Coalition

TEAM Coalition

June 10, 2009 09:00 ET

Responsibility Has Its Rewards

Designated Drivers and NBA Fans Kim Williams and Chris Ford Receive Ultimate Reward During 2009 NBA Finals

ORLANDO, FL--(Marketwire - June 10, 2009) - Two fans are particularly excited that their favorite NBA teams are competing for a championship in the 2009 NBA Finals. Orlando Magic fan, Kim Williams and Los Angeles Lakers fan Chris Ford were named as "Designated Drivers for the Season" after being randomly selected among all of the fans who pledged to be designated drivers at Magic home games at Amway Arena and Lakers home games at the STAPLES Center. Williams and Ford received tickets to a Finals game to watch their favorite teams compete. Designated drivers pledge to refrain from drinking alcohol and provide their friends and family with a safe ride home.

For the first time, the NBA, Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management Coalition (TEAM), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are working together to reward the Designated Drivers for the Season with two tickets to the first game of The Finals played in the home arena of their favorite team as the grand prize of the Responsibility Has Its Rewards sweepstakes for designated drivers. In addition, one Designated Driver for the Season from an NBA team that is not playing in the 2009 NBA Finals will be chosen at random to attend the 2010 NBA All-Star Game on February 14, 2010 at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The sweepstakes reminds adult fans that choose to drink to always have a designated driver, which proves that the NBA is not only "Where Amazing Happens" but also where responsibility happens.

"The success of the Responsibility Has Its Rewards campaign with the NBA this season is a direct result of the commitment from the league, the teams and all the campaign partners," said Jill Pepper, executive director of TEAM Coalition. "Teamwork is what this campaign is all about. We are demonstrating that when everyone -- including the fans -- takes responsibility, everyone wins."

The Responsibility Has Its Rewards campaign encourages fans to participate in designated driver programs sponsored by beer and concessionaire companies at every NBA arena nationwide. Fans who pledge to be designated drivers at NBA games are eligible to enter a drawing to be selected as the team's Designated Driver for the Season. For the 2009/10 season, TEAM is proud to report that nearly 50,000 basketball fans pledged to be designated drivers, planning ahead and making the responsible, winning play. That is a 43 percent increase above the 35,000 fans who pledged last season.

"Tying Responsibility Has Its Rewards to our season-long Good Sport program makes for a winning combination," said Carol Clark, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility for Anheuser-Busch. "We're pleased to work with the NBA, TEAM and the other program partners to recognize 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."

"Game day should be safe and enjoyable for our fans, both in the arena and as they travel home after the games," said Phillip Hastings, assistant director of Arena Operations and Retail for the Orlando Magic. "We're proud that so many of our fans have chosen to demonstrate responsible behavior."

NBA fans join millions of other Americans in doing the "ride thing." According to a national survey by TNS Custom Research Inc. on behalf of Anheuser-Busch, nearly two out of three adults -- more than 137 million Americans -- have been a designated driver or been driven home by one.

If you are attending an NBA Finals game or watching at a sports bar or restaurant here are a few tips:

--  Be a designated driver or designate your driver before the game begins
--  Give your designated driver your car keys and your appreciation for
    making sure you get home safely
--  Find unique ways to recognize the designated drivers when you are out
    at a bar or restaurant:
      --  Offer to be the designated driver the next time you go out
      --  Cover the cost for parking or even pay for a tank of gas
      --  Whatever non-alcohol beverage he or she is drinking, make sure
          the glass is always full
      --  Pick up the tab for his or her food and drink
--  Before you go out, program the numbers for local cab companies in your
    cell phone, so if you find yourself in need of a ride, it is just one
    touch away
--  Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself -- eat enough
    food, take breaks and alternate with non-alcohol drinks.

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

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Contact Information

    Jill Pepper
    TEAM Coalition