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