Issue addressed: Organised sport provides an important setting for health promotion. Peak sporting organisations have a role in assisting and overseeing sports clubs, including providing funding opportunities. As such, sponsorship of these organisations may influence the funding of community sport. This study aimed to describe the nature and scope of peak sporting organisations’ sponsorship, and particularly food and beverage company sponsors.
Methods: An analysis of national and state sporting organisations’ websites for the nine most popular sports for children and from four Australian states and territories was conducted using a structured survey tool. Information collected included the number and type of sponsors and sponsorship policies. The nature of food and beverage sponsors was defined as more healthy or less healthy using criteria
from a Delphi survey.
Results: 443 sponsors were identified across 55 websites. Overall, 9% of sponsors were food companies and 3% were alcohol manufacturers. The majority of food companies (63%) and alcohol manufacturers (100%) did not meet criteria as healthy sponsors.
Conclusions: Sponsorship of peak sporting organisations is widespread and consists of a relatively high proportion of alcohol manufacturers and food companies, some of which produce products considered to be unhealthy. This sponsorship may influence community sport through sponsored sporting programs or by indicating sponsors’ acceptability.
Key words: sport, sponsorship, marketing, food