Press Releases

Free the Bowl Video Contest Takes on Alcohol-Related Violence at Sports Events

FOR RELEASE 11/21/11 6.A.M. (ET)           
              Contact:  Michael Scippa 415 548-0492
                                                                                                                         Jorge Castillo  213 840-3336

Free The Bowl Video Contest Takes on
Alcohol-Related Violence at Sports Events

$1,000 Prize for Youth-Produced Counter-Beer-Ads

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (November 21, 2011) – Alcohol Justice launches today its fourth annual, national, anti-beer-advertising contest at “This year’s video competition challenges youth to expose the relationship of beer advertising and consumption to violence before, during and after sporting events,” stated Michael Scippa, Director of Public Affairs at Alcohol Justice, the industry watchdog formerly known as Marin Institute. The video contest culminates three days before Anheuser-Busch InBev displays their latest offensive beer ads during Super Bowl Bowl XLVI.
There have been a number of highly publicized incidents of alcohol-related violence at professional sporting venues this year, such as the tragic beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stowe at Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium. Research has shown that sports related alcohol advertising, sponsorship, branding, promotions, and sales practices all fuel over-consumption that leads directly to tens of thousands of annual incidents of alcohol-related violence and harm.
“After every Bud Light-sponsored-NFL game, an estimated 5,000 people leave the stadiums legally drunk,” said Scippa. “The toxic social norm that binds alcohol to sports must be broken. Free the Bowlâ allows kids to best illustrate that you don’t need to drink alcohol to enjoy the game, despite what the beer ads tell you.”
Big Alcohol spends a half billion dollars a year advertising on TV sports events alone. The more alcohol ads kids see, the more likely they are to drink, drink to excess and drink more often. In 2009, the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking reported that 5,000 people under the age of 21 die annually from injuries caused by alcohol. Hundreds of thousands more suffer alcohol-fueled sexual assaults, serious injuries, diseases and academic failure.
“We created the Free The Bowlâ video contest four years ago to give young people ages 10 to 20 a channel to digitally protest exploitative alcohol ads shown during TV sporting events, added Scippa. “This year’s contest seeks original, 30 second to 3 minute art or music performance counter ads with a core message about alcohol, sports and violence.”
The deadline for video entries is January 16, 2012. Contest winners will be announced during the Free The Bowlâ 2012 World Premiere, streaming live on February 2, 2012, from the Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, California. To view past years’ exciting winning videos, this year’s promotional videos, and more information on contest rules, entry details and prizes, visit