Since the firm came into being way back in 1894 they’ve been synonymous with one thing that we can relate to – having fun. Paddy Power has stayed in the family ever since its 19th century beginnings with the third generation descendant of Richard Power, Paddy, now at the helm. After conquering the home market with the help of two other bookies they set their sights on first the UK and then online with their presence now a fixture on millions of computers and increasingly mobile devices.
What’s the key to all of Paddy’s success? Much of it must be put down to the scores of elaborate publicity stunts the firm has undertaken over the years. One of their better-known PR forays in recent times was erecting the now infamous Paddy Power Hollywood-style sign on a hill overlooking the 2010 Ryder Cup course at Celtic Manor in Wales. Owner Terry Matthews was apparently ready to throw the sheep at Paddy before calling out the publicity-friendly owner as “scum” on national news. The bookies did have to remove the sign but not before they’d had their fun.
Even more infamous was the moment they were chased through the streets of the Vatican by the caribinieri but we’ll leave you to watch the video to find out about that one.
Advertising campaigns are another strand to Paddy’s publicity machine and have born witness to criticism from a number of angles. Their 2010 advert featuring a blind man booting a cat didn’t break any of the rules but was still 2010’s most complained about advert. It’s struck again in 2012 with the misgivings pouring in about an advert that features transgender ladies. Again, no action has been taken by the ASA.
Although as Paddy revealed in the interview above, conducted at the Sport and iGaming Conference, there have been times, such as the infamous “Who Killed Mr Burns” market, when they’ve been taken the cleaners. Paddy’s a man of the people though. Instead of investigating, they’d rather be down the pub downing the Guinness with the guy or girl that placed the winning bet.
With mobile now lifting off and the punters showing no sign of going anywhere the PR stunts will continue to make Paddy a favorite amongst his current punters and many more besides.