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DESIGNATED DRIVERS RECOGNIZED AT THE 65th NBA ALL-STAR GAME THROUGH THE “RESPONSIBILITY HAS ITS REWARDS” SWEEPSTAKES

/EIN News/ -- Toronto, ON, Feb. 18, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Among the sold out crowd in Air Canada Centre for the 65th NBA All-Star Game last night, Los Angeles Clippers fan Mike Berich was in attendance as the first prize winner of the “Responsibility Has Its Rewards” sweepstakes for designated drivers. Berich, a resident of North Hollywood, California, was named "Designated Driver for the Season" for the Clippers for the 2014-2015 season.  All 30 NBA teams selected a Designated Driver for the Season.  Mr. Berich was the lucky one randomly selected to represent the nearly 69,000 responsible NBA fans who pledged to be designated drivers last season. 

RHIR Winner at NBA All-Star Game
left to right: Jessica Thurston, Event Manager for TEAM Coalition; Abeer Klosk, Security Analyst for the National Basketball Association; Mike Berich, RHIR Sweepstakes Winner; Jerome Pickett, Senior Vice President & Chief Security Officer for the National Basketball Association


For the last nine NBA seasons, the NBA, Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition and NBA teams across the country have been working together to make more fans aware of the designated driver programs at NBA arenas, promote traffic safety and encourage responsible drinking and positive fan behavior. The success of those efforts is demonstrated by the fact that designated driver program participation has more than tripled league-wide since the partnership began in 2006.

The “Responsibility Has Its Rewards” sweepstakes grand prize winners were Kenton Mak and Ken Smith. Mak was named "Designated Driver for the Season" for the Golden State Warriors and Smith was selected to represent the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2014-2015 season.  Mak attended game one of The Finals 2015 and Smith attended game 3. Designated drivers pledge to refrain from drinking alcohol at the game and provide their friends and family with a safe ride home.

The top five NBA teams for designated drivers at the end of the 2014-2015 season were:

  • 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

“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,” said Jerome Pickett, Senior Vice President and Chief Security Officer for the NBA. “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.”

"The success of the Responsibility Has Its Rewards campaign with the NBA 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, Americrown, Aramark, Delaware North Sportservice, Legends, Spectra, Beer Institute, National Beer Wholesalers Association, Anheuser-Busch Companies, Constellation Brands, HEINEKEN USA, MillerCoors, Brown-Forman, Live Nation, National Association of Broadcasters, Contemporary Services Corporation, International Association of Venue Managers, Stadium Managers Association and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For more information visit www.TEAMCoalition.org  

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Jill Pepper, TEAM Coalition 703-647-7431 jill@teamcoalition.org

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