I’m not from Australia originally, but since arriving I’ve come to embrace this continent’s unique sport of Aussie Rules Football. I enjoyed a Friday night game at a friend’s house recently, and watched Channel 7’s post-game Friday Front Bar for the first time. Filmed in front of a live audience at a Richmond Hotel, it is a lighthearted weekly round-up, brought to you by Carlton Draught, with a three-man commentator panel sipping pints of Carlton amongst sports paraphernalia.
One of the presenters never touched his beer whilst the other two consumed theirs on air. My friends had a few laughs at the expense of the commentator who wasn’t drinking – not as ‘brewery fresh’ as promised, perhaps – and I laughed at the irony of representing a product you don’t seem to care for. Something bothered me about watching the show that night, however, and on my Uber ride home I thought about what exactly it was.
I’m from the Great White North of Canada and no stranger to beer-sponsored sport. It wasn’t just the in-your-face Carlton Draught advertising featured on the show, or that next-step of making your ambassadors drink your product on camera, or the shameless plug for the brand when the cameras start rolling that was troubling me. I realized it was my friend’s 10 year old daughter.
She lives, breathes, and also plays Aussie rules. Watching a game with a child is an amazing reminder of why you first start watching sport, when it’s the most exciting part of your week and is just about the players and the game.