New England Patriots Recognized as Top NFL Team for Designated Driver Program


After a three year hiatus, the New England Patriots have regained the crown as the top team in the NFL for designated driver pledges. Throughout the 2016 season, more than 22,000 fans at Gillette Stadium pledged to be designated drivers and ensure a safe ride home from the game for friends and family. The Patriots finished the season in the top spot among all NFL teams after finishing first in 2010, 2011 2012, and 2013. Starting in 2009, the New England Patriots, the New England Revolution, Gillette Stadium, the Ensign John R. Elliott HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers and TEAM Coalition came together to educate fans about the importance of using a designated driver, buckling up and demonstrating positive fan behavior. The message is simple: “Be a HERO, Be a Designated Driver.”

For the fourth consecutive season, Arbella Insurance Foundation joined the other organizations as a proud partner of the designated driver program at Gillette Stadium.

Patriots fans who pledged and demonstrated responsible behavior at any Patriots game throughout the season received a complimentary soft drink, a “Be a Hero” wristband, pro shop discounts and a chance to be selected as the Designated Driver for the Game. Each week, the Designated Driver for the Game from the previous home game was recognized with a pregame visit on the field.

At the January 14 divisional round playoff game against the Houston Texans, the Patriots recognized Rick Glasheen as the Patriots’ Designated Driver of the Game. Glasheen was joined for a pregame ceremony on the field by Patriots Chairman & CEO Robert Kraft.

When the Patriots advanced to Super Bowl LI in Houston, TX, the Patriots Designated Driver of the season, John Sawa, attended the game as the grand prize winner of the sweepstakes component of the Responsibility Has Its Rewards campaign, a league-wide effort supporting designated-driver programs with all 32 NFL teams.

The designated-driver program is just one component of the fan behavior initiatives offered by the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Other components include:

  • A Fan Code of Conduct posted in and around Gillette Stadium
  • Text messaging (text “CONDUCT” + message to 78247) that empowers fans to anonymously report disruptive behavior to security
  • Certification of over 600 employees across every department operating in Gillette Stadium in effective alcohol management training
  • Alcohol service policies, including ID checks for all fans, no more than two alcoholic beverages per person per transaction and alcohol cut-off at 15 minutes into the third quarter
We’re proud that Patriots fans recognize the monumental importance of safe and responsible behavior inside the stadium, at Patriot Place and on the roads.<span class="su-quote-cite">Jim Nolan, New England Patriots Senior Vice President of Operations, Finance and Administration</span>
The HERO Campaign is proud to be associated with the New England Patriots, Gillette Stadium and our partners in promoting the use of designated drivers in memory of our son John. A designated driver is truly a hero by keeping others safe on the way home after the game. Our goal is to register a million designated drivers nationwide and make the use of designated drivers as automatic as wearing a seatbelt.<span class="su-quote-cite">Bill Elliott, Chairman of the HERO Campaign</span>
Fans who pledge to be designated drivers are critical to the success of the Responsibility Has Its Rewards campaign. Teamwork is exactly what this campaign is all about. Through this program, we are demonstrating that when everyone – including the fans – takes responsibility, everyone wins.<span class="su-quote-cite">Jill Pepper, executive director of 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 National Football League, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, NASCAR, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, National Collegiate Athletic Association, Americrown, Aramark, Delaware North Sportservice, Legends, Spectra, Beer Institute, National Beer Wholesalers Association, Anheuser-Busch Companies, Constellation Brands, HEINEKEN USA, MillerCoors, Brown-Forman, Live Nation, National Association of Broadcasters, Contemporary Services Corporation, International Association of Venue Managers, Stadium Managers Association and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For more information visit or
HERO Campaign
The HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers was launched by the Elliott family in August of 2000 in memory of John’s tragic death at the hands of a drunken driver. The purpose of the HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers® is to promote the use of sober designated drivers to prevent drunken driving tragedies throughout our country. In cooperation with schools, businesses, law enforcement agencies, and other community-based organizations, we ask you to help keep drunk drivers off our highways.
Arbella Insurance
Established in 1988, the Arbella Insurance Group ( is a company with over $600M in revenue with approximately $1B in assets, headquartered in Quincy, Massachusetts. Arbella is a customer-focused regional property and casualty insurance company, providing personal and business insurance in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and business insurance in Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Arbella Insurance Group founded the Arbella Insurance Foundation in 2004. The mission of Arbella’s Foundation is to engage in activities and to support not-for-profit organizations that have a significant positive impact on the people and communities served by Arbella.

Left to right:  Ted Mahoney (Chief Investigator of Massachusetts Alcohol Beverage Control Commissions and President of National Liquor Law Enforcement Association), Jim Nolan (Senior Vice President of Finance, Administration, and Operations), Jackson Magnini (TEAM Coalition), Brenna Morrissey (Arbella Insurance), Robert Kraft, Rick Glasheen (Patriots Designated Driver for the Game), Rob Consalvo (HERO Campaign), Scott Smith (HERO Campaign), and Hannah Creighton (Special Events Coordinator).