Unhealthy Sport Sponsorship at the 2017 AFL Grand Final: A Case Study of its Frequency, Duration and Nature
To assess the frequency, duration and nature of unhealthy marketing during the highest‐rating sporting event in Australia in 2017.
A content analysis of the 2017 Australian Football League (AFL) Grand Final television broadcast identified episodes of unhealthy food and sugary drink, alcohol and gambling marketing (and pro‐health marketing as a comparison).
There were 559 unhealthy marketing episodes (47 minutes 17 seconds). Most (81%) were for unhealthy food and sugary drink products, while alcohol (9%) and gambling (10%) were less frequent. The total duration of unhealthy marketing was delivered primarily via fixed advertising (55%), dynamic advertising (32%) and branded objects (11%). For unhealthy food and sugary drinks, at least one episode was visible 25% of the time. For each of alcohol and gambling, at least one episode was visible 4% of the time. Unhealthy food and sugary drink marketing peaked in Quarter 2. Pro‐health marketing was limited, with 26 episodes (2 minutes 59 seconds).
The 2017 AFL Grand Final broadcast featured a high frequency and extensive duration of unhealthy marketing, especially for unhealthy food and sugary drink brands.
Implications for public health
Findings strengthen evidence supporting calls to increase regulation of sport sponsorship by unhealthy brands.