South Fremantle has topped the ladder when it comes to unhealthy sponsorships in the West Australian Football League, according to a new review conducted by the Curtin University-based Public Health Advocacy Institute of Western Australia (PHAIWA).
The study of WAFL sponsorships, which analysed a total of 309 sponsors, found the top two teams on the WAFL leader board, Subiaco and South Fremantle, also topped the PHAIWA ladder for unhealthy sponsorships.
PHAIWA Director Dr Melissa Stoneham said South Fremantle had the largest number of red sponsors, deemed the unhealthiest, with seven, followed by Subiaco with six red sponsors.
“As it currently stands following last weekend’s qualifying and elimination finals, three of the four top teams on the WAFL leader board are also in the top four clubs with the most unhealthy sponsors,” Dr Stoneham said.
“The two top teams on the WAFL leader board, Subiaco and South Fremantle, are also the worst offenders when it comes to having the highest number of unhealthy sponsors.”
Dr Stoneham said six out of 309 sponsors surveyed were classified as green, or healthy sponsors, with East Perth identified as the club with the least number of unhealthy sponsors.
“Although the WAFL is largely played by over 18s, many young people and children go to the games or watch them on television and are therefore exposed to these unhealthy brands,” Dr Stoneham said.
“Research shows that sport sponsorships offer companies an avenue to expose children and young people to their brand in a bid to encourage a connection with that brand.
“Given many children and young people think that the food and drink companies that sponsor their favourite team are ‘cool’, it is so important that we see more healthy options on offer to ensure the next generation grows up consuming nutritious foods and beverages.”