THE Scottish Football Association (SFA) are teaming up with a leading distillery company to promote drinking in moderation as part of a major new alcohol education campaign.

Diageo and the SFA are aiming to reach a million people in Scotland with a message which explains the benefits of drinking responsibly.

“We want people to really understand the effects of alcohol misuse and to drink in moderation,” said Charles Ireland, general manager for Diageo GB, Ireland and France.

“The power of football to reach people and to connect with them is massive and we are delighted to be working with the Scottish FA to harness that power and use it to positively transform the way people think about alcohol in Scotland and the way they drink alcohol.”

The campaign kicked off at Hampden Park in Glasgow as a team of Diageo responsible drinking ambassadors meeting former Scottish football international, James McFadden.

“Alcohol and football are a common pairing, but it’s important for fans to recognise the dangers of excessive drinking,” said McFadden, the Scotland men’s national team assistant coach.

“Our new partnership with Diageo will help to spread the message to fans of Scottish football that responsible drinking is vital.”

The Drink Positive campaign will use the William Hill Scottish Cup as a platform to encourage football fans, coaches and players to be aware of the effects alcohol has on the body and to encourage moderate drinking as part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Amateur football coaches across Scotland will receive alcohol awareness training through the campaign to equip them with the facts and messages on how alcohol impacts sporting performance.

It is hoped they can build responsible drinking education into every coaching session, reaching tens of thousands of amateur players across the country.

Fans will also be targeted with media messaging and engagement in an effort to raise their awareness of the harmful effects of alcohol misuse through the DrinkIQ website (, which delivers engaging alcohol education, including alcohol unit and calorie calculators which encourage people to drink in moderation.

Diageo’s 3500 employees in Scotland will also be engaged as part of the campaign to build on the work they already do as responsible drinking ambassadors. They will take the Drink Positive campaign message to friends and family across the country.

Chris Rawlings, the SFA’s commercial director commented: “We are delighted to have the support of Diageo to convey such an important message.

He added: “Football plays an integral role in communities across Scotland and, as such, it is our responsibility to use the platform we have to promote a balanced approach to alcohol consumption.”