Phoenix, AZ, June 4, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies are leveraging their National League West rivalry to encourage fans of both Clubs to make the responsible decision to plan ahead and have a designated driver. The Clubs are well into year two of the Designated Driver Challenge - a partnership locally among the Diamondbacks, MillerCoors, TEAM Coalition, the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety and the Arizona Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Division - that utilizes the spirit of competition to help educate fans about the importance of never driving drunk and always designating a driver.
The season-long competition pits Diamondbacks fans against Rockies fans in a challenge to collect the most designated driver pledges. The Diamondbacks were victorious last season with a total of 18,419 designated drivers after 81 home games as compared to the Rockies 11,025 designated drivers. Both Clubs noted that their season ending totals increased more than 30% from their 2010 totals. The goal for 2012 - in addition to the competition for the most designated drivers - is to reach 30,000 designated drivers between the two Clubs.
Fans who pledge to be designated drivers must meet the following criteria:
When the 2012 season ends, the Club with the most fans pledging to be designated drivers (cumulative total) will win the Challenge and receive the coveted Designated Driver Challenge trophy.
To promote the Challenge and encourage more fans to make the pledge to be a designated driver, Arizona Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol officers will be at Chase Field for the three-game homestand starting tonight as the D-backs host the Rockies. Fans who pledge to be designated drivers will also have the opportunity to autograph a large banner. The goal for the season is to cover every inch of the banner with signatures of responsible Diamondbacks fans - the all-stars of responsibility.
"This is a perfect opportunity for Governor Brewer's Office and the Arizona Highway Patrol to partner with the D-Backs and MillerCoors and save lives," said Captain Deston Coleman Jr, Special Enforcement Bureau, Arizona Department of Public Safety. "To increase awareness and encourage designated drivers is a step in the right direction and a step closer to safer roadways in Arizona. I know Arizona's motorists are up to repeat their victory in year two of the challenge."
The baseball season encompasses all the summer holidays around which traffic safety messages are increased, including the recent Memorial Day weekend, Independence Day and Labor Day. So the Designated Driver Challenge between the Diamondbacks and the Rockies not only extends the National League West rivalry, but it may very well save lives.
"If you plan on consuming alcohol, plan ahead and have a sober designated driver or schedule a taxi ride home before the game begins. Get a DD (Designated Driver) - not a DUI!" said Alberto Gutier, director of the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety. "We commend the Arizona Diamondbacks and all the program partners for creating such a fantastic incentive for fans who make the responsible decision to not drink and drive."
"Fans truly are the voice of this campaign" said Jill Pepper, executive director of TEAM Coalition. "Everyone that attends a game plays an important role in alcohol management by drinking responsibly, following the fan code of conduct and always having a designated driver. We are happy to partner with the Arizona Diamondbacks, MillerCoors, the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety and the Arizona Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Division to help spread the message of responsibility."
"We know that many sport fans enjoy a beer during a game," said Gene Giron, MillerCoors manager for alcohol responsibility. "By working with organizations like TEAM Coalition, we encourage fans to drink responsibly, use designated drivers and never drive drunk. MillerCoors believes that with great beer comes great responsibility. We want fans to enjoy the game, get home safely and remember the occasion for all the right reasons."
The Arizona Diamondbacks are committed to promoting safe drinking practices. For every home game the Designated Driver program runs out of the 16 kiosks located throughout Chase Field. And for the games when Diamondbacks host the Rockies, an additional Designated Driver Challenge location will be in the rotunda along with the banner for designated drivers to autograph. Fans who participate will receive a coupon for a complimentary soft drink redeemable at DoubleHeader and Red Hot concession stands in the ballpark.
"We want every game day to be safe and enjoyable for our fans, both in the stadium and as they travel home after the games," said Derrick Hall, president and chief executive officer of the Arizona Diamondbacks. "We're proud of our victory last season and that so many of our fans have chosen to demonstrate responsible behavior. And we are confident that we have what it takes to win the Designated Driver Challenge again this year."
Built on a foundation of great beer brands and nearly 300 years of brewing heritage, MillerCoors continues the commitment of its founders to brew the highest quality beers. MillerCoors is the second-largest beer company in the United States, capturing nearly 30 percent of beer sales in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Led by two of the best-selling beers in the industry, MillerCoors has a broad portfolio of brands across every major industry segment. The portfolio is led by the company's premium light brands: Coors Light, Miller Lite and Miller64. Coors Light, the World's Most Refreshing Beer, offers consumers refreshment as cold as the Rockies. Miller Lite established the American light beer category in 1975, offering beer drinkers a light beer that tastes like beer should. Miller64 is 64 calories of crisp, light taste that complements a balanced lifestyle. MillerCoors brews premium beers Coors Banquet and Miller Genuine Draft, and economy brands Miller High Life and Keystone Light. Tenth and Blake Beer Company, MillerCoors craft and import division, imports Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Pilsner Urquell and Grolsch and features craft brews from the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, Blue Moon Brewing Company and the Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Company. MillerCoors operates eight major breweries in the U.S., as well as the Leinenkugel's craft brewery in Chippewa Falls, Wisc. and two microbreweries, the Tenth Street Brewery in Milwaukee and the Blue Moon Brewing Company at Coors Field in Denver. MillerCoors vision is to create the best beer company in America through great people changing the way America enjoys beer. MillerCoors builds its brands the right way through brewing quality, responsible marketing and sustainable environmental and community impact. MillerCoors is a joint venture of SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company. Learn more at MillerCoors.com, at facebook.com/MillerCoors or on Twitter through @MillerCoors.
About the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety
The Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) is the focal point for highway safety issues in Arizona. GOHS a cabinet agency, provides leadership by developing, promoting, and coordinating programs; influencing public and private policy; and increasing public awareness of highway safety. Learn more at http://www.azgohs.gov/.
About the Arizona Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Division
The Highway Patrol Division (HPD) at DPS is the largest and most recognized division within the agency. It is often referred to as the agency's flagship division and has a history dating back to 1931 when a state highway patrol function was first created in Arizona. The mission of this Division is to ensure the safe and expeditious use of the highway transportation system for the public and to provide assistance to local and county law enforcement agencies. Learn more at http://www.azdps.gov/.
About TEAM Coalition
TEAM Coalition is an alliance of professional and collegiate sports, entertainment facilities, concessionaires, stadium service providers, the beer industry, distillers, broadcasters, governmental traffic safety experts, and others working together to promote responsible drinking and positive fan behavior at sports and entertainment facilities. TEAM's 21 members and supporters include Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, NASCAR, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, ARAMARK, Delaware North Companies Sportservice, Ovations Food Services, Beer Institute, National Beer Wholesalers Association, Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, Brown-Forman, Live Nation, National Association of Broadcasters, Contemporary Services Corporation, Elite Show Services, International Association of Venue Managers, Stadium Managers Association and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For more information, go to www.TEAMCoalition.org, www.RHIR.org or www.FansDontLetFansDriveDrunk.org. Follow us at www.facebook.com/FansDontLetFansDriveDrunkand on Twitter @fansResponsible.
A photo accompanying this release is available at:
CONTACT: Jill Pepper, TEAM Coalition, 703-647-7431, email@example.com