As the 2009 San Francisco 49ers season gets underway, the 49ers, Centerplate, Anheuser-Busch and Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition ask all 49ers fans to have a designated driver in order to prevent drunk driving. The message – "Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk" - will appear on the beer cups at Candlestick Park this season as part of a league-wide effort involving all 32 NFL teams and 31 stadiums. The message is a reminder that creating a positive game day experience is everyone's responsibility, including the fans.
For the seventh consecutive season, 49ers fans who pledge to be designated drivers have a chance to follow the 49ers to the Super Bowl through the Responsibility Has Its Rewards sweepstakes. Last season more than 3,000 49ers fans pledged to be designated drivers, and 140,000 fans pledged across the league. This season the goal for the NFL is 200,000 designated drivers.
In addition to the "Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk" message on all the beer cups, the 49ers are offering the "Good Sport" designated-driver program at all guest services locations at Candlestick Park. Each fan that pledges to not drink alcohol and ensure a safe ride home for their friends and family receives a complimentary non alcoholic beverage and a chance to be selected as the 49ers Designated Driver for the Game and the Designated Driver for the Season. The randomly-selected Designated Driver for the Game is announced during the second half on the stadium video board. The winner receives a 49ers jacket co-branded with the "Good Sport" logo.
After fans pledge to be designated drivers at 49ers games, they receive an email directing them to register on-line at www.rhir.org to be randomly selected as the 49ers Designated Drivers for the Season. The Designated Drivers for the Season from the two teams competing in the Super Bowl receive trips to the game, which will be played on Sunday February 7, 2010 at Dolphin Stadium, as the grand prize winners of the Responsibility Has Its Rewards sweepstakes.
"We want the game day experience to continue to be safe and enjoyable for 49ers fans while they enjoy Candlestick Park and as they travel home after the games," said Jim Mercurio, 49ers vice president of stadium operations and security. "We're proud of our fans' commitment to responsible behavior and thrilled to reward them with such a great opportunity."
"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 49ers, 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."
"As a part of our commitment to creating safe and enjoyable fan experiences, Centerplate takes responsible alcohol management very seriously," said George Wooten, executive vice president of Operations for Centerplate. "We're proud to be a part of Responsibility Has Its Rewards, joining the TEAM Coalition to empower fans to make smarter, safer choices both inside and outside Candlestick Park."
"The success of the Responsibility Has Its Rewards campaign and this new initiative to communicate the 'Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk' message on all beer cups in NFL stadiums, including Candlestick Park, 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."
Fortunately, football fans join millions of other Americans in doing the "ride thing." According to a national survey by TNS Custom Research Inc., nearly two out of three adults – more than 137 million Americans – have been a designated driver or been driven home by one.
The designated-driver program is just one component of the fan behavior initiative offered by the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park. Other components include:
- Fan Code of Conduct
- Text messaging (text "BADFAN" Message to 41513) and phone hotline (415-656-4949 and hit "0") empower fans to report disruptive behavior to security
- Alcohol Compliance and Code enforcement teams roaming throughout the stadium.
- Alcohol service policies including ID checks for fans who appear to be 30 years of age or younger, no more than two alcoholic beverages per person per transaction, no alcoholic beverage service in the seating area (fans must go to the concession stands on the concourse to purchase alcohol) and alcohol cut-off at the end of the third quarter.
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.FansDontLetFansDriveDrunk.org.