Big Tobacco & Sports:
"Foul Play" Around
From brandnames and logos to sponsorships and advertising - sports are
a big sell for the tobacco industry. This extensive list of examples from
around the world proves that hardly a sport is immune from the tobacco
industry, not even fishing! Football/soccer, golf, hockey, rodeo, darts,
bicycle racing, rugby, snooker, horse racing, basketball, car racing,
table tennis, cricket, American football (in the Philippines), you name
it - the tobacco industry has it covered!
BURUNDI - Nestor
Bikorimana, Association Burundaise des Consommateurs
This is the outside
of a pack of "Supermatch" cigarettes, which clearly shows
how the tobacco industry uses sports themes in its advertising. [the logo
is a young male playing football]
For more info: email@example.com (French)
CAMEROON - Alphonse
Issi, Mouvement National des Consommaturs
The tobacco industry in Cameroon is a major sponsor of sports, football
in particular. In Cameroon, football is the "king" of all sports.
The tobacco industry targets many youth teams, e.g. children and teenagers
who get involved with football in their neighborhoods (typically between
the ages of 7-12). During the holidays, the tobacco industry sponsors
For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
CONGO, DEM REP OF
- Antum Micheline, Bons Temeliers
BAT is a big sponsor here in the Congo. BAT offers our athletes and our
sportsmen bicycles and t-shirts. They also give our sportsmen shirts imprinted
with their product name/logo, e.g. TOBACCO CONGO or EMBASSY, with a ball.
The young are highly impressioned by this and influenced to start using
For more info: email@example.com
CUBA - Nery
Suárez, Escuela Nacional de Salud Publica Ministerio de Salud Publica
There are no links whatsoever between the tobacco industry and sports.
In event broadcasts,
advertising of a popular brand of cigarettes was begun, but that was completely
[during the] the broadcast of the olympics didn't happen. The Grand Prix
boat [?] competitions
[however] are in fact sponsored by Marlboro.
For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
GHANA - Thomas
Gyimah-Mensah, Environment and Development Association of Ghana
In my country, BAT has been sponsoring some sports by supplying T-Shirts
and Boots. The most common/popular sports are football, golf and hockey.
The tobacco industry is using these young players to promote their killer-products.
Therefore, Anti-tobacco NGOs and the international community must join
hands to halt this bad practice to help save our youngsters from lung
cancer and other heart diseases.
For more info: email@example.com
MAURITIUS - Veronique
Le Clezio, ViSa
The ' Public Health Act ' was amended in Maurice in 1999 to introduce
a ban on any form of advertisement or sponsorship by the tobacco industry,
following an anti-tobacco
demonstration during the 'Matinée Cup' of horse races. These
new regulations were a hard blow to BAT's indirect advertising, which
relied heavily on sports sponsorship, as these old ads document: snooker,
According to rumours, BAT continues to sponsor small scale sports in villages
and to offer sports equipment, but without much media hype. Mauritian
newspapers continue to relay advertisements of Marlboro through big
full page color photos of Formula 1. Until recently, the only TV channel
of Mauritius, the MBC, presented a sports broadcast containing a fixed
close-up of a Marlboro Ferrari.
For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
PAKISTAN - Javaid
Khan, The Aga Khan University Hospital
There is a RED & WHITE (a popular cigarette brand) Snookers championship
For more info: email@example.com
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
- Colin Richardson, Adventist Health Ministries & ASH-PNG
In Papua New Guinea, sports are one of the three main avenues of tobacco
promotion (the other
two are cultural event sponsorship and point of sale advertising). Most
sports in PNG are
sponsored by the one tobacco company in PNG, BAT. In Rugby League football,
there is the
Cambridge Cup. Cambridge is one of BAT's brands in PNG. A few years ago
it was the Winfield Cup
(another BAT brand). Several of the regional teams are sponsored by tobacco
(the Spear Rabaul
Gurias; the Cambridge Goroka Lahanis, and the Cambridge Port Moresby Vipers).
(Spear is a local
BAT coarse cut long cigarette brand). A
photo of the Winfield cup game in progress
The basketball competitions
are also BAT sponsored: the Kools Regional Basketball Championships being
organised in different parts of the country. (Kools is another BAT brand).
Kools point of sale basketball ad
The PNG BAT Golf Open
event is an annual sporting event. In 2000, the ads on TV commenced on
the 9th July 2000, only 4 days before the event, and continued for more
than 2 weeks after the event! This
photo was taken on TV on the 19th July 2000, 3 days after the event
Spear Central Province
Country Cup (cricket event) was another BAT sponsorship.
For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yul Dorotheo, FCTC Alliance, Philippines
Winston ad which features an American football scene and the slogan
"Spirit of the USA," came from a Philippine Airlines in-flight
magazine. American football also isn't popular in the Philippines.
For more info: email@example.com
Sports is one of the oldest cigarette brands in Senegal. Its symbol
is a football.
For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org,
SOUTH KOREA -
Choi Jin Sook, Korean Action on Smoking and Health
Excerpt from: FIFA tells tobacco company to butt out (Associated Press,
2 April 2002):
"Soccer's governing body accused South Korea's state-run tobacco
monopoly Tuesday of using the
World Cup to promote cigarette sales. Korea Tobacco & Ginseng Corp.
began selling its ``Time 2002'' cigarettes Monday. The packs show 10 images
of soccer players heading, kicking or tackling." Read
the full article
View the Time2002 packs go to: ALL,
For more info: email@example.com
SRI LANKA - Tramintha,
Alcohol & Drug Information Centre
Bristol was the main
sponsor for football matches around 1995, in Sri Lanka. The series
called the Bristol
Cup. At the same time Bristol also organized and sponsored a cycle
was also sponsored by Gold Leaf at one time but sponsorship of this sport
has now been given to Carlsberg Beer. Gold
Leaf & Formula 1 car racing.
In Sri Lanka the tobacco
industry does not play a very big role in the sports sector since a directorate
made by the President in 2001 prevents sports authorities from accepting
sponsorships from Tobacco companies. Although this is the case, the chairman
of the Cricket Board in Sri Lanka also happens to be a Legal Advisor at
Ceylon Tobacco Company(CTC). This being the case there is an increase
in the sale, advertising and promoting of tobacco (especially B&H)
during cricket matches. Mobile stalls are freely available and advertisements
of cigarettes are easy to come by around the cricket grounds. B&H
being a sponsor for cricket matches is flaunted in the souvenir without
any reserve or shame.
There is a national policy
on tobacco which is as yet in the making. This policy would include a
ban on tobacco industry sponsorship of sports events and a ban on selling,
advertising and promoting such products on the sports field/ground. We
also have heard that that certain athletes who have brought honour to
our country have been offered special gifts/medals by the tobacco company.
For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
UGANDA - Phillip
From Phillip's book "Focus on Uganda":
BAT's involvement in sports dates back to 1928. It has been involved in
sponsorship of cricket, darts, table tennis and fishing. They currently
sponsor a football league, Kakungulu Sportsman's Cup and an annual golf
tournament in two leading golf clubs. The new market entrant Park, upon
arrival in Kampala was a part sponsor of the region's top football event,
the East and Central Africa Challenge Cup (CECAFA).
BAT recently relinquished
the main sponsorship of an annual sportsman's gala. This was a function
organised by the Uganda Sports Press Association to crown the best sports
personalities of the year. The sponsorship was dropped after pressure
by anti-tobacco activists. BAT maintain that it is preposterous to link
BAT's sponsorship to smoking initiation, which they attribute to peer
and family influence. They maintain that their products are not intended
for persons below the age of 18, and on this basis have twice refused
to award prizes to event winners.
BAT is also a large sponsor
in the motor rally field. It sponsors a team called "Sportsmans"
and its members are required to wear the brand colours of Sportsman".
Brand names like "Sportsman",
"Champion" and "Supermatch" all seek to build on the
false association between sporting ability and smoking that the tobacco
industry has tried to foster. Sportsman features a jockey and a horse's
head while Champion depicts a man holding a trophy above his head. Supermatch
takes it closer to home and shows a man dribbling a ball with the false
legend "the winner's choice".
Several sporting associations
and notably the Uganda Amateur Boxing Federation, decline to accept sponsorship
UPDATE: BAT recently annouced that it would withdraw from all sports sponsorship.
For more info: email@example.com
USA - CA - Steve
Hansen, California Medical Association
Our big sponsorships locally are: an Elks Club Rodeo sponsored
by spit tobacco [another
weekly "Winston Cup" tabloid in our local Knight-Ridder
newspaper which is a thinly
veiled ad for the brand with an average of ten Winston name mentions or
logo pictures per page.
For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
US - DC - Anna
White, Essential Action
Last week I saw a chocolate NASCAR racing car, made by Palmers company
(famous for chocolate
Easter bunnies), in a Rite-Aid store. Like most racing cars, this chocolate
car was covered in corporate logos, including a small "Winston"
logo. Winston is the main sponsor of the "Winston Cup."
For more info: email@example.com
US - OR - Jerry
Gabay, Nuestra Comunidad Sana
Portland has a race with Indy-type cars each year. In 2000, it was won
by the Marlboro sponsored vehicle. When our statewide newspaper decided
to do a special section to introduce the race in 2001, the entire front
page of that section was covered by a photo of the Marlboro car and about
6-7 men in Marlboro suits jumping up in the air. A great ad, and for free,
For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
And from Anne Landman's
doc-alert listserve (8 March 2002) -- This Philip Morris document
outlines how the company used sports as a vehicle to target Latinos/Hispanics
in the U.S.:
Marlboro Hispanic Promotions - Marketing Plan (~1988)
Marlboro's involvement within the Hispanic community started in the late
participation in Hispanic Festivals. Over the years, Marlboro has increased
the scope of its
involvement in Hispanic programs by adding amateur Hispanic baseball &
soccer, mexican rodeos
and a national soccer event.
...Capitalizing on growing interest nationwide in the area of soccer,
Marlboro expanded its
amateur hispanic sport sponsorships by sponsoring a major soccer event
titled the Marlboro
Soccer Cup of Miami. This event extended our hispanic involvement to a
national level. Due to
the program's success, a national rollout is recommended for 1988.
Straight to the source: http://www.pmdocs.com/getallimg.asp?if=avpidx&DOCID=2048679289/9294
Global Partnerships for Tobacco Control
P.O. Box 19405 ~ Washington,
Tel: +1 202-387-8030 ~ Fax: +1 202-234-5176