The WSWA Gets It Right

February 23, 2010

The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, the NFL Players Association and Discovery Education Partner on New Effort to Address Underage Access to Alcohol

It’s 21. Just Pass initiative reinforces the message that the legal drinking age is 21 and challenges high school students’ knowledge about the laws and consequences of underage drinking

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts: 
Jerry Brown, Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America
202-371-9792, jerry.brown@wswa.org

Jilane Rodgers, NFL Players Association
202-572-7504, jilane.rodgers@nflplayers.com

Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education
240-662-2893, stephen_wakefield@discovery.com

Silver Spring, Md. (Feb. 23, 2010) – The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA), the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) and Discovery Education announce a new partnership creating the It’s 21. Just Pass initiative. Designed to reinforce the message that the legal drinking age is 21 and challenge high school students’ knowledge about the laws and consequences of underage drinking, It’s 21. Just Pass has launched in 21 cities across the country.

The central component of this effort is the It’s 21. Just Pass challenge which targets high school students and features:

  • A quiz which challenges students’ current knowledge while providing critical information about the laws and consequences related to underage drinking;
  • A drawing to award one $5,000 scholarship (students become eligible by taking a short online quiz); and
  • An assembly featuring an NFL player, awarded to the school with the highest challenge participation levels.

In addition, the It’s 21. Just Pass online video forum encourages students to create short videos about the dangers and consequences of underage drinking for a chance to win two tickets to an area NFL game.

“WSWA is committed to community programs that address underage access to alcohol,” said Craig Wolf, President and CEO, Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America. “By partnering with NFLPA and Discovery Education, we’ve leveraged high-profile sports personalities and a very credible educational resource to help us develop an innovative campaign that demonstrates our ongoing commitment to become an industry leader in social responsibility.”

“The NFLPA proudly supports all of its players in their community service endeavors,” said George Atallah, NFLPA Assistant Executive Director External Affairs. “Ventures like ‘It’s 21. Just Pass’ give these player role models an invaluable platform to spread a positive message.”

“Discovery Education is committed to empowering educators with the tools and resources that engage students in learning each and every day – whether those lessons are about the solar system or the consequences of underage drinking,” said Mary Rollins, Vice President of Education Partnerships, Discovery Education.  “We are pleased to partner with WSWA and NFLPA on the It’s 21. Just Pass initiative, and look forward to collaborating on this joint mission to educate teachers, parents and students about the dangers of underage drinking.”

To learn more about It’s 21. Just Pass, visit www.its21justpass.com.

We’ve been critical of the WSWA’s position on direct shipment of wine to consumers, and their rather flimsy argument that what kids these days want to do is order expensive wine from out-of-state retailers to be shipped to their door and not have their ID checked by the shipper.

Regardless, we are not above giving props where props are due. The WSWA’s program to educate high school kids on the realities of underage drinking’s consequences appears smart. It appears well thought-out, with incentives to get kids involved and raise awareness with some pretty compelling carrots being dangled in front of them (a scholarship and a school visit by “an NFL player” – no specifics there – being the biggest ones).

Is it likely to reduce the occurrence of underage drinking (especially binge drinking by minors)? We remain skeptical but optimistic.

Posted via web from Wine Biz Radio