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Designated Drivers are Spokespeople for Responsibility
  For Immediate Release
  Contact: Jill Pepper, TEAM Coalition 703-647-7431
Contact: Kim DeVigil, MillerCoors, 303-277-2909,
Contact: Anne Readett, Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, 517-333-5317

Detroit -- 12/5/2008 -- At tomorrow night's game between the Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks at Joe Louis Arena, the Red Wings, Olympia Entertainment, MillerCoors, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, and TEAM Coalition are partnering to educate fans about the importance of designating a driver, buckling up, and demonstrating positive fan behavior. "You Hold the Key, Red Wings Fans Never Drive Drunk" is the message driving this campaign, and Red Wings fans will be the spokespeople.

Fans who make the Responsibility Has Its Rewards (RHIR) pledge to always have a designated driver, never drive drunk, and always buckle up will film their own message about responsible behavior. The film crew will be set-up on the main level of the arena's concourse, next to the Designated Driver program booth between sections 106 and 107. PSAs produced from the filming will air throughout the season on Joe Louis Arena video board, the Red Wings Web site, and on local broadcast TV. And the video clips will be e-mailed to each participant so their moment of fame can be shared. The RHIR campaign offers fans that participate in the designated driver program across the NHL a chance to win valuable prizes for pledging and demonstrating responsible behavior.

"Giving fans the opportunity to be the voice of the Responsibility Has Its Rewards campaign personalizes the ‘Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk’ message. Teamwork is exactly what this campaign is all about," said Jill Pepper, Executive Director of the TEAM Coalition. She noted that through this program the Detroit Red Wings, Olympia Entertainment, MillerCoors, and the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning are demonstrating that everyone – including the fans – plays an important role in alcohol management.

“We want to congratulate the Red Wings and their fans and remind everyone that true hockey Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk,” said Michael Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning. “If you plan on consuming alcohol whether you are at the game or watching from a house party or sports bar, pass your keys to a sober, designated driver before the party begins. We commend all the Responsibility Has Its Rewards campaign partners for creating this incentive for fans who make the responsible decision to designate a driver.”

The Designated Driver program is a key component of the responsibility initiatives of TEAM Coalition. The Coalition is an alliance of professional and collegiate sports, entertainment facilities, stadium service providers, concessionaires, the beer industry, broadcasters, governmental traffic safety experts, and others working together to promote responsible drinking and positive fan behavior at sports facilities. In addition, TEAM Coalition helps coordinate with professional sports leagues including the National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Baseball (MLB), Major League Soccer (MLS), National Basketball Association (NBA), and the National Football League (NFL).

“MillerCoors has worked closely with professional sports teams like the Red Wings for more than two decades to encourage responsible consumption at sporting events, and to help prevent underage access to alcohol and drunk driving,” said Kim Marotta, vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility for MillerCoors. “We feel our participation in TEAM complements our overall responsibility initiatives.”

The Designated Driver program is one of several components of the alcohol management plan at Joe Louis Arena. In addition, through TEAM training, hundreds of employees for Olympia Entertainment have become skilled in observing fan behavior and serving alcoholic beverages in compliance with local laws and in a manner designed to encourage responsible consumption. Alcohol service policies are enforced to ensure only fans of legal drinking age are served alcoholic beverages. These combined efforts represent an alcohol management plan in which the fans, arena employees, corporate sponsors, and team representatives are all working toward common goals – promoting responsible alcohol consumption, positive fan behavior, and traffic safety.

“We are proud to partner with MillerCoors, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, and TEAM Coalition to help spread this message of responsibility,” said Tim Padgett, Red Wings vice president of Operations and general manager for Joe Louis Arena. “We have always been about creating the highest level of entertainment, while ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone who attends our games.”

Today, fans who embrace these goals will have a unique opportunity to show their dedication to the Red Wings, because responsibility really does have its rewards.

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