ARLINGTON, VA— Today, as part of National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week, Shaquille O’Neal (Shaq) and The Century Council announced a new partnership that aims to fight binge drinking on college campuses throughout the United States.
O’Neal, who recently attended film director’s school, will work alongside college students to bring the voice of the students to life by producing student created videos that address the serious issue of binge drinking on campus. The effort officially launches this week with messages on www.centurycouncil.org and will continue throughout 2014.
“This dangerous binge drinking on college campuses has got to stop,” said O’Neal. “The best way to change this culture is to have the students address the issue face to face. I’m psyched to work on this project and firmly believe we can make a difference.”
As a new spokesperson for the Council, O’Neal will continue the momentum generated by The Century Council’s sponsorship of the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) in 2009. NSAC revealed hundreds of student-generated campaigns targeting their peers with the goal of attacking college binge drinking.
The Century Council sponsored NSAC to shed new light on the old problem of college binge drinking, with the goal of bringing new information into the discussion, and to help students find their own voice on this issue. Accomplishing this goal means engaging new partners, tapping new sources of information, and questioning the conventional wisdom.
Alcohol consumption among college students has remained relatively unchanged over the past decade. Two out of three college students drink alcohol and 42% report binge drinking in the past few weeks. According to the 2010 Monitoring the Future Study 13% of college students report having 10+ drinks in a row at least once in the past two weeks and this is happening significantly more often among male college students as compared to their female peers (24% and 7%, respectively).
So far, The Century Council provided grants to 6 colleges and universities to implement their own campaigns on their individual campuses. Preliminary evaluations suggest the student-led campaigns are working. O’Neal and The Century Council will visit campuses over the next year to produce videos which will be distributed on campus and online.
“Shaq is big man who stands to address a big problem,” said Ralph Blackman, President and CEO of The Century Council. “Our hope is that by involving Shaq in this campaign, we will be able to reach even more college-aged students as we continue to change the culture of dangerous overconsumption on campus.”
The Century Council
The Century Council is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking and is funded by the following distillers: Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc.; Brown-Forman; Constellation Brands, Inc.; DIAGEO; Hood River Distillers, Inc.; Pernod Ricard USA; and Sidney Frank Importing Co., Inc. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. The Century Council is a leader in the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking and promotes responsible decision making regarding beverage alcohol. The Century Council develops and implements innovative programs and public awareness campaigns and promotes action through strategic partnerships. Established in 1991, The Century Council’s initiatives are highlighted on its website at www.centurycouncil.org.
An NBA legend, business guru, TV commentator, platinum-selling musical artist, and social media phenomenon that has more than 4 million followers on Twitter and starred in his own reality show and appeared in numerous films. His business ventures include early stage investing in Vitamin Water and Google. Most recently, Shaq is a shareholder in and working to make the 15-second video service “TOUT” a household brand.