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Phoenix promote healthy living with new backers

Wellington Phoenix has agreed a sponsorship deal with the Health Promotion Agency (HPA) to remove alcohol signage at its home games and replace it with alcohol moderation messages, reports SportsPro. Phoenix has penned a deal which will see the club no longer accept sponsorship from alcohol brands and remove alcohol signage from its 36,000-seater Westpac stadium.

Instead, Wellington will receive financial contributions from HPA, a government-owned sponsorship fund.

The deal, financial terms of which were not released, follows an agreement earlier this year which saw the Australian Football Federation end all existing and future alcohol sponsorships in exchange for a share of US$25.5 million worth of funding from the Australian government.

HPA spokesman Dr Andrew Hearn said: "We were happy to step in and provide moderation messages.

"Football is increasingly popular with young people and it's great to get alcohol signage out of the ground. We are concerned about the impact of alcohol advertising on young people.

"A 2009 review found that exposure to media and commercial communications on alcohol was associated with earlier consumption, and with increased drinking amongst those who already drink," added Hearn.

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Dave Williams

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