Peter Cressy, President of the Distilled Spirits Council, made the following statement today in response to NASCAR’s announcement on spirits brand sponsorships: “This is a positive step forward which recognizes the distilled spirits industry’s sterling track record of social responsibility. As NASCAR officials stated, a key factor in their decision to include spirits sponsorships was the spirits industry’s longstanding commitment to social responsibility. Through the award-winning programs of The Century Council, America’s leading distillers’ not-for-profit organization, the spirits industry is a leader in the fight against drunk driving and underage drinking. For those spirits brands that choose to become NASCAR sponsors, this marketing opportunity will provide a new platform to communicate to adult consumers while extending the reach of our social responsibility messages. The fact is NASCAR has accepted other alcohol sponsors for the last 25 years. Alcohol is alcohol. Today’s announcement rationalizes NASCAR’s guidelines. Under NASCAR’s policy, only spirits companies that agree to adhere to the Distilled Spirits Council’s 70-year-old Code of Responsible Practices, regardless of whether they are members of the Distilled Spirits Council, may become NASCAR sponsors. NASCAR demographics fit well within the Distilled Spirits Council’s Code. According to NASCAR, 95% of those who attend NASCAR are 21 years of age and over; 88% percent of those who watch NASCAR on TV are 21 years of age and over; and the average age of a NASCAR fan is 38 years of age. Motor sports sponsorships are not new for spirits companies. Spirits brands are sponsors in other racing circuits including the Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series and International Race of Champions (IROC).