Chargers Recognized as Top 5 NFL Team for Designated Drivers


For Immediate Release
December 17, 2010
Contact: Jill Pepper, TEAM Coalition, (703) 647-7431
Bill Johnston, San Diego Chargers, 858-874-4500,
SAN DIEGO, Ca. (Dec. 18, 2010) – The San Diego Chargers were recognized at Thursday’s game for setting a new record this season, and it had nothing to do with their play on the field.A record of 10,721 fans in the stands at Qualcomm Stadium this season pledged to be designated drivers and ensure a safe ride home from the game for friends and family. The Chargers will finish the season in the number three position in terms of designated drivers among all NFL teams.

San Diego Chargers had a record 10,721 fans pledge to be designated drivers during the 2010 season. They were recognized for their Top 5 Responsibility status at the last regular season home game on December 16, 2010.
(left to right) Mark Salazar, director of Event Marketing for TEAM Coalition; A.G. Spanos, Chargers Executive Vice President; Scott Marshall, Centerplate general manager; Steve Lopez, Public Information Officer for the California Highway Patrol

As part of a long-standing partnership, the San Diego Chargers, Qualcomm Stadium, Centerplate, Anheuser-Busch, California Highway Patrol 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 Good Sport.” The response from Chargers fans was massive.

“We’re proud of our designated-driver program, but we’re most proud of the fans who have taken advantage of it,” said Chargers Executive Vice President A.G. Spanos. “We have great fans in San Diego who help us create a safe, family-friendly experience at Qualcomm stadium.”

“We commend the Chargers and all the designated-driver program partners at Qualcomm Stadium for creating a unique incentive to bring the Chargers and their fans together to make the responsible decision to designate a driver,” said California Highway Patrol, Border Division, Chief Jim Abele.

“We’re pleased to work with the Chargers, 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,” said Kathy Casso, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility for Anheuser-Busch. “When it comes to preventing drunk driving, we’re all part of the team.”

California Highway Patrol officers encourage San Diego Chargers fans to be designated drivers at Qualcomm Stadium“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 part of the designated-driver program at Qualcomm Stadium, joining the TEAM Coalition and all the program partners to empower fans to make smarter, safer choices both inside and outside the Stadium.”

Chargers fans who pledged and demonstrate responsible behavior at any Chargers game throughout the season received a complimentary soft drink and a chance to be selected as the Designated Driver for the Game. Each week, the Designated Driver for the Game is recognized on the stadium video and receives a special prize from the Chargers. And one lucky Chargers fan will be selected as the Chargers Designated Driver for the Season with a chance to win a trip to the Super Bowl or Pro Bowl as part of the sweepstakes component of the Responsibility Has Its Rewards (RHIR) campaign. The RHIR sweepstakes is in its eighth season, a partnership between the NFL and TEAM Coalition.

At Thursday’s game, Mark Salazar, Event Marketing director of TEAM Coalition presented the award to the Chargers executive vice president A.G. Spanos; Scott Marshall, general manager for Centerplate at Qualcomm Stadium; Chief Jim Abele of the California Highway Patrol and Brooke Montgomery from Anheuser-Busch, all accepting on behalf of the Chargers fans.

“Fans who pledge to be designated drivers are critical to the success of the Responsibility Has Its Rewards campaign,” said Jill Pepper, executive director of TEAM Coalition. “Teamwork is exactly what this campaign is all about, and through this program we are demonstrating that when everyone – including the fans – takes responsibility, everyone wins.”

The designated-driver program is just one component of the fan behavior initiatives offered by the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Other components include:

  • A Fan Code of Conduct posted in and around Qualcomm Stadium
  • Text messaging (text “SECURITY” + location + issue to 59629) empowers fans to report disruptive behavior to security
  • Certification of more than 1,000 employees across every organization operating in Qualcomm 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 in the first half and only one alcoholic beverage per person in the third quarter, no alcohol 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

About TEAM Coalition
TEAM Coalition is an alliance of professional and collegiate sports, entertainment facilities, concessionaires, stadium service providers, the beer industry, broadcasters, governmental traffic safety experts, and others working together to promote responsible drinking and positive fan behavior at sports and entertainment facilities. TEAM’s members and supporters include the National Football League, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, National Collegiate Athletic Association, ARAMARK, Delaware North Companies Sportservice, Ovations Food Services, Beer Institute, National Beer Wholesalers Association, Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, Live Nation, National Association of Broadcasters, Contemporary Services Corporation, Elite, International Association of Venue Managers, Stadium Managers Association and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.