Designated Driver Recognized at NBA The Finals Game 3


Cleveland, OH – Cleveland Cavaliers fan Ken Smith was particularly excited when the Cavaliers won Game 3 of The Finals 2015 last night. Mr. Smith was named “Designated Driver for the Season” for the Cavaliers and attended Game 3 as a grand prize winner of the “Responsibility Has Its Rewards” sweepstakes.

Kenton Mak was named “Designated Driver for the Season” for the Golden State Warriors and attended Game 1 of The Finals as the other grand prize winner of the sweepstakes. Both winners were randomly selected among all of the fans who pledged to be designated drivers at the Cavaliers and Warriors home games. Designated drivers pledge to refrain from drinking alcohol and provide their friends and family with a safe ride home.

Throughout the season, the NBA, Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition and NBA teams across the country have worked together to make more fans aware of the designated driver programs at NBA arenas, encourage responsible drinking, positive fan behavior and promote traffic safety. The success of those efforts is demonstrated by the fact that more than 68,500 adults pledged to be designated drivers during the 2014-15 NBA season.

In addition to the two grand prize winners, the “Designated Driver for the Season” from the Los Angeles Clippers, Michael Berich, was selected to attend the 2016 NBA All-Star Game in Toronto, ON, the first prize in the annual sweepstakes.

(left to right) Allison Law, TEAM Coalition Event Manager; Jerome Pickett, NBA Senior Vice President of Security and Chief Security Officer; Ken Smith, Cleveland Cavaliers Designated Driver for the Season; Joe Wegrzynowski, guest of Smith; Carl Mittleman, Aramark President of Sport and Entertainment; Joseph Jordan, Anheuser- Busch Senior District Manager Northeast Ohio

The top five NBA teams for designated drivers at the end of the 2014-15 season are:

  • Dallas Mavericks with 9,488 designated drivers
  • Oklahoma City Thunder with 8,200 designated drivers
  • Houston Rockets with 7,374 designated drivers
  • Sacramento Kings with 6,069 designated drivers
  • San Antonio Spurs with 5,391 designated drivers

“The success of the ‘Responsibility Has Its Rewards’ campaign with the NBA this season is a direct result of the commitment from the league, the teams and all the campaign partners,” said Jill Pepper, executive director of TEAM Coalition. “Teamwork is what this campaign is all about. We are demonstrating that when everyone – including the fans – takes responsibility, everyone wins.”

About 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 Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, NASCAR, National Football League, National Hockey League, National Collegiate Athletic Association, Aramark, Delaware North Sportservice, Legends, Ovations Food Services, Beer Institute, National Beer Wholesalers Association, Anheuser-Busch Companies, HEINEKEN USA, MillerCoors, Brown-Forman, 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.

For more information go to, or

TEAM Coalition has proven to be an invaluable partner. Specifically, we appreciate TEAM Coalition’s ardent commitment in our continued efforts to create a safe environment at each of the league’s arenas. The fan experience is significantly enriched in an atmosphere characterized by conscientious behavior. The foundation for this positive fan experience is our continued partnering to provide a comprehensive safety and security program. We look forward to our continued relationship with our TEAM Coalition partners.Jerome Pickett, Senior Vice President, Chief Security Officer, NBA

[types field=”nba-team-spoiler”][/types]
[types field=”sponsors-spoilers” separator=” ”][/types]

• In 2013, 10,076 people were killed as a result of alcohol-related (BAC > 0.08) car crashes, a decrease of 2.4% from the 10,322 fatalities in 2012.

• 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, drive when impaired by alcohol, and fail to buckle up.