Common sense suffered a cruel blow today as UEFA decided to heavily punish Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner in what will be know in the football world as PantsGate. The English-based striker scored against Portugal last Wednesday in Euro 2012 before pulling up his shirt to reveal a pair of green pants emblazoned with Paddy Power along the waistband. UEFA were not amused and have slapped a €100,000 fine on Bendtner and suspended him for one World Cup qualifier. From Paddy’s point of view, once they’ve stopped laughing about getting one over on the footballing establishment, it’s another marketing masterstroke on their part. This was all a worthy price to pay for the amount of attention and custom they will get thanks to Nicklas’s antics.
In a number of Tweets following the ban being announced the company said: “Paddy Power are appalled with the severity of Nicklas Bendtner’s fine for wearing his luckypants recently! We think this is a hysterical and deeply cynical move by UEFA driven by pure commercialism! We will be contacting Mr Bendtner to offer him our full support for his UEFA appeal.”
Paddy Power followed this up with news they’d won the Juniper Future Mobile Award for Mobile Gambling 2012. The research firm chose Paddy ahead of the highly commended Ladbrokes and Probability because “in a vibrant and highly-competitive mobile gambling sector, Paddy Power’s range of products stands out”. They added: “The bookmaker now offers an optimised product across four different operating systems, while it has recently introduced an attractive Live Mini roulette to sit alongside its sportsbook offerings.”
Paddy’s PR guru Darren Haines has decided to call it a day after 11 years at the firm. Haines has been responsible for a number of the company’s finest PR stunts and told PR Week: “The past 11 years have been a blast. Paddy Power is a dream for any PR to work on – you can probably count on one hand the number of brands who give their PR team free licence to have fun.”