Atlanta United FC Designated Driver Wins Trip to MLS Cup™


(L to R):

Mary Louise Thelwell, Atlanta United FC Designated Driver for the Season enjoys the 2018 MLS Cup™ at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The 2018 Major League Soccer season ended with a thrilling MLS Cup™ in front of a record-setting crowd on December 8, 2018. Atlanta United FC and Portland Timbers squared off to crown a champion at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. One lucky Atlanta supporter joined that crowd to see her favorite club play as the winner of TEAM Coalition’s “Responsibility Has Its Rewards” sweepstakes.

Mary Louise Thelwell from Lithonia, GA, was randomly selected as the Atlanta United FC Designated Driver for the Season. She was selected as the grand prize winner of the “Responsibility Has Its Rewards” sweepstakes when AUFC won their way to host the 2018 MLS Cup™. The sweepstakes is in its fourteenth season, provided by TEAM Coalition with support from Major League Soccer and HEINEKEN USA.  It continues to succeed in raising awareness for the designated driver programs offered by MLS clubs.

Ms. Thelwell and her guest attended the 2018 MLS Cup™ at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of Atlanta United FC. She was one of over 44,000 supporters who pledged to be designated drivers at MLS games throughout the 2018 season, ensuring a safe ride home for their friends and family.

The success of the Responsibility Has Its Rewards campaign with Major League Soccer and HEINEKEN USA is a direct result of the commitment from the League, the MLS clubs, sponsors, concessionaires and all the campaign partners. Teamwork is what this campaign is all about. We are demonstrating that when everyone – including the fans – takes responsibility, everyone wins.<span class="su-quote-cite">Jill Pepper, Executive Director, TEAM Coalition</span>
TEAM Coalition
TEAM Coalition is an alliance of professional and collegiate sports, entertainment facilities, concessionaires, stadium service providers, the beer industry, distillers, broadcasters, traffic safety experts and others working together to promote responsible drinking and positive fan behavior at sports and entertainment facilities. TEAM Coalition members and supporters include Major League Soccer, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, National Basketball Association, National Football League, National Hockey League, National Collegiate Athletic Association, Americrown, Aramark, Delaware North Sportservice, Legends, Spectra, Beer Institute, National Beer Wholesalers Association, Anheuser-Busch, Constellation Brands, MillerCoors, Brown-Forman, Live Nation, National Association of Broadcasters, International Association of Venue Managers, Stadium Managers Association and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For more information visit or


• In 2017, 10,874 people were killed as a result of alcohol-related (BAC > 0.08) car crashes, a decrease of 1.1% from the 10,996 fatalities in 2016.

• Many, if not most of those lives would have been saved if people did not drive when they were impaired by alcohol or if they used sober, designated drivers or if they simply wore their seat belts.

• Statistics and research clearly show that 21-34 year old males are the demographic most likely to be involved in an automobile crash