Aims To examine the differences in alcohol consumption and psychosocial antecedents between team and individual sportspeople via secondary data analysis. Methods Questionnaires measured alcohol consumption, athlete identity and subjective happiness from a sample of UK university sportspeople (N = 1785; male = 1048, 58.7%), involved in team (77.9%) and individual sports. Results Team sports players were more likely to be categorized as hazardous drinkers, and reported significantly greater rates of alcohol consumption, stronger athlete identity and higher levels of happiness than individual sports players. Athlete identity was a significant predictor for alcohol consumption, however there was no significant relationship found between happiness and consumption. Further regression analyses revealed interactions between sport-type and athlete identity on alcohol consumption. For individual sport players, as athlete identity increased alcohol consumption significantly reduced; however, there was a positive association between identity and consumption for team sport players. Conclusions Our findings implicate the role of identity as an important factor to consider when addressing the issue of hazardous drinking among sportspeople.