| TORONTO (11/22/2010) – As the Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas return home after an amazing game at MLS Cup 2010TM, one fan from each club is reminiscing about the experience of a lifetime as they cheered on their home teams at MLS Cup 2010. Zerain Martinez and Phil Green were selected as the grand prize winners of the “Responsibility Has Its Rewards” sweepstakes. Martinez, a Rapids fan from Lakewood, Colorado, and Green, an FC Dallas fan from Dallas, Texas, attended MLS Cup 2010 at BMO Field in Toronto, Ontario. They were randomly chosen from among the more than 12,000 fans who pledged to be designated drivers, ensuring a safe ride home for their friends and family.“One of Major League Soccer’s top priorities is the safety of our fans, and our partnership with TEAM Coalition is an excellent program that provides a positive message,” said MLS senior director of Operations Evan Dabby. “We’re pleased to work with TEAM Coalition to promote responsible habits.”
For the fifth consecutive season, Major League Soccer (MLS), Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and brewers joined together to make more fans aware of the League’s designated-driver programs, including the Budweiser Good Sport partnership with the Rapids and FC Dallas. The designated-driver programs and the Responsibility Has Its Rewards sweepstakes promote traffic safety by encouraging responsible drinking and positive fan behavior.
“Tying the ‘Responsibility Has Its Rewards’ sweepstakes to our season-long Good Sport program makes for a winning combination,” said Kathy Casso, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility for Anheuser-Busch. “We’re pleased to work with MLS, the Rapids, FC Dallas, 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 the Rapids and FC Dallas Designated Drivers for the Season, each sweepstakes winners received two tickets to MLS Cup 2010, roundtrip airfare and hotel accommodations as well as a halftime photo on the field and a meeting with MLS officials.
“This promotion is an opportunity for MLS to show support for the clubs’ efforts in coordination with the concessionaires, the brewer and the local beer wholesalers to encourage responsible fan behavior,” said Jill Pepper, Executive Director, TEAM Coalition. “For fans, it’s a great reminder that responsibility really does have its rewards.”
During the 2010 MLS regular season, 12,454 soccer fans planned ahead and made the responsible, winning play by pledging to be designated drivers. That is the largest number of designated drivers since TEAM started tracking participation with MLS.
The top three MLS clubs for designated drivers in 2010 are:
- Real Salt Lake: 3,796 designated drivers
- Seattle Sounders FC: 3,000 designated drivers
- New York Red Bulls: 2,000 designated drivers
“Whether you’re at the stadium or a friend’s house, designate a sober driver before the game. And remember, Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk,” said Administrator David Strickland of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
About TEAM Coalition TEAM Coalition is an alliance of professional and collegiate sports, entertainment facilities, concessionaires, 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. TEAM Coalition members and supporters include Major League Soccer, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Football League, National Hockey League, National Collegiate Athletic Association, ARAMARK, Delaware North Companies – Sportservice, Ovations Food Services, Beer Institute, National Beer Wholesalers Association, Anheuser-Busch Companies, MillerCoors, Live Nation, National Association of Broadcasters, Contemporary Services Corporation, Elite Show Services, International Association of Venue Managers, Stadium Managers Association and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
For more information, please visit www.TEAMCoalition.org or www.rhir.org.