More than any sports book in the world, Paddy Power understands the value of promotional hype, even if sometimes it borders on the controversial. Controversy creates cash, and Paddy is front and center in that approach.
That’s why it’s no surprise that the Irish betting firm is teaming up once again with Dennis Rodman to host the “Paddy Power Dennis Rodman Invitational”, an international basketball event loosely promoted on the message of basketball diplomacy that will take place in Pyongyang, North Korea.
Yes. North Korea. The same country that’s pretty much isolated to the rest of the world and the same country that the Hall of Famer Rodman has fallen in love with. Paddy Power apparently wants a piece of that love and this event, which has the official support and backing of the country’s supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, will probably go along way in building that relationship.
Or it can be a one-time thing that never happens again.
Either way, it’s another audacious promotional move for a company that never runs out of out-of-the-box ideas.
The event, which has been in the development oven since early this year, will feature Rodman and a select group of All-Star players playing against the North Korean basketball team this coming January. Two games are being scheduled, with the first one in North Korea and a second one in Europe sometime in June 2014.
“Kim loves basketball, and he’s interested in building trust and understanding through sport and cultural exchanges,” Rodman said on the potential impact of the event on socio-cultural levels. “I know in time Americans will see I’m just trying to help us all get along and see eye to eye through basketball, and with my friendship with Kim I know this will happen.”
If this event is successful and goes through without any hitches, it could become one of Paddy Power’s most audacious marketing ploys yet, no small achievement considering the things it has done over the years.