SOURCE: TEAM Coalition

January 29, 2008 09:00 ET

Responsibility Has Its Rewards: New England Patriots Designated Driver Earns Ultimate Reward

FOXBOROUGH, MA--(Marketwire - January 29, 2008) - As the AFC Champion New England Patriots prepare for Super Bowl XLII®, one Patriots fan is especially excited to see how they fare. Christina Alavian was randomly selected by TEAM Coalition as the New England Patriots' designated driver of the season, and she's joining the Patriots in Arizona for the Super Bowl. For the fifth consecutive season, the National Football League (NFL), Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management Coalition (TEAM Coalition), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have worked together to make more fans aware of the designated-driver programs at all NFL stadiums, encourage responsible fan behavior, and promote traffic safety.

As the Patriots designated driver of the season and winner of the Responsibility Has Its Rewards sweepstakes, Christina Alavian will join the Patriots at Super Bowl XLII®, which will be played on February 3, 2008 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona and broadcast on FOX. The prize includes roundtrip airfare, hotel accommodations, and two tickets to the game. A similar prize goes out to Jonathan Zeichner, the designated driver of the season for the NFC Champion New York Giants.

In addition, Nicole Dryer, the designated driver of the season from the Philadelphia Eagles, was chosen at random to attend the 2008 NFL Pro Bowl® in Honolulu, Hawaii, which will be played on February 10, 2008 and broadcast on FOX.

During the 2007 NFL season, nearly 120,000 football fans committed to the designated-driver program, planning ahead and making the responsible, winning play by pledging to be designated drivers (a 20% increase from last season). Through the designated-driver program, thousands of Patriots fans promised to refrain from drinking and be the designated drivers to get their friends and family home safely from the games played at Gillette 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.

"We want the game-day experience to continue to be safe and enjoyable for Patriots fans while they are at the stadium and as they travel home after the games," said Jim Nolan, Gillette Stadium's vice president of operations.

"This promotion continues to be a wonderful 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.

Fortunately, football fans join millions of other 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 is 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.

In addition to promoting the designated-driver programs at all NFL stadiums, TEAM provides an alcohol management training program through which more than 2,000 Gillette Stadium employees are certified. The program focuses on how to prevent underage drinking, identify fans that may have had too much to drink, and intervene in order to ensure everyone's safety. Finally TEAM helps facilities communicate and enforce alcohol service policies. Gillette Stadium has some of the most stringent policies in the league. Fans are only permitted two alcoholic beverages per possession, everyone -- regardless of age -- must show a valid ID to purchase alcoholic beverages, and alcohol service is cut-off at the end of halftime in the seats and fifteen minutes into the third quarter at the concession stands.

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