Food and Drink Sponsorship

Food and Drink Sponsorship

What do Coca-Cola, Cadburys, Ferrero, KP Snacks, Lays, Lucozade Sport, Mars and Monster Energy have in common? Yes, they’re all brands that sell high fat, sugar and/or salt (HFSS) products, but they’re also financially embedded in sport. But why would junk food and soft drinks manufacturers want to get involved in sport?

By associating themselves with individual athletes, clubs, leagues and national governing bodies, junk food and soft drinks manufacturers make their products appear healthier and can promote them to huge numbers of children and young people – a technique that has gone relatively unnoticed until recently.

Advocacy Activities

There are several reasons why HFSS brands associate their products with sport including increasing media exposure and brand awareness through positioning of their logos, to reach and sensitise new markets to their products and as part of their corporate social responsibility activities.

However, one of the main reasons they choose to partner with sports organisations is to attach a “health halo” to their products; i.e., implicit references within marketing communications, such as depictions of physical activity and sport, that can generate more favourable impressions of a product despite it being energy dense and nutrient poor.

We believe that partnerships with HFSS food and drink sponsorship is incongruent with sport. Together with other public health professionals, academic researchers, oral health specialists and sports medicine experts we’re working to highlight why we should be concerned by the prominence of junk food and sugary drinks marketing through professional and amateur sport and the impact these sponsorship and advertising deals are having on our health.


Food packaging

Athletes, tournaments and clubs crests regularly feature on food and drink packaging


Letter to UK Government

Healthy Stadia and FSA call for restrictions on marketing of HFSS products through football


Sugar Smart

Healthy Stadia and Sugar Smart ask football orgs to reconsider their relationships with HFSS products



Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver calls on sport to take a responsible approach to sponsorship

Junk Food Brands: Just Play with the FA and Mars

Unhealthy Partnerships

We take a look at football's ingrained relationship with junk food brands

Premier League Branding

Premier League Re-brand

The Premier League re-brand may have unintentional consequences for public health


Commercial Determinants

Regulation of sports sponsorship would help to reverse the non-communicable disease burden

FIFA 18 - Coca-Cola 1

Marketing to Children

Food Active looks at how HFSS manufacturers use sport to market their products to children


Closing the Loopholes

OHA calls for comprehensive regulation of all marketing of HFSS products


Unsporting Behaviour

Researchers argue that sport provides an undeserved 'health halo' to junk food and sugary drinks


Football and Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola have been financially embedded in professional football since at least 1950

The Hundred - Kits

The Hundred

KP Snacks set to make a packet from sponsorship deal with new cricket format


EFL Cup Sponsorship

A short history of the beverage brands that have sponsored the EFL cup since 1980


Decaffeinating Football

Energy drinks can have a negative impact on children and young people's mental and physical health


Hydration for Sport

Are sports and energy drinks better than water for health and performance?


Monster Energy

Monster Energy agreed sponsorship deals with eight Premier League clubs in 2019/20


Zero Sugar. Zero Hassle?

The Oral Health Foundation argues that diet and zero drinks are also bad for teeth due to their acidity


Athlete Oral Health

HFSS food and drink products can damage athlete's teeth and gums according to researchers at UCL

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