Pete Rose stars in William Hill US mobile sports betting TV commercial

pete-rose-william-hill-sports-betting-commercialBaseball great Pete Rose appears in a new television commercial promoting mobile sports betting at the US division of UK bookmaker William Hill.

The Super Bowl is a high point of television marketing, as major corporations spend big bucks hiring celebrities to appear in over the top productions that garner as much press as the game itself. But a new spot slated to run only in the Las Vegas market is garnering major press based on its timely marriage of celebrity and scandal.

The William Hill US spot (viewable below) features former Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman pitching the ease of betting on sports via the company’s mobile app. Nevada is the only US state in which single-game sports betting is legal, and mobile wagering accounted for an estimated 29% of all Nevada wagers last year.

As Goodman finishes his pitch, a figure on the opposite side of the table leans out of the shadows, revealing himself to be the former Cincinnati Reds player/manager – wearing an unlabeled red baseball cap – who inquires: “You sure this won’t get me in any trouble?” The image shifts to the William Hill logo, and Goodman’s voiceover declares: “It’s okay to bet on baseball.”

Rose’s highly public history of betting on sports has kept him from claiming his rightful spot in Major League Baseball’s hall of fame. Commissioner Rob Manfred upheld Rose’s lifetime ban from baseball in December and a resigned Rose has apparently decided that he has no more fucks left to give.

William Hill US CEO Joe Asher said the company didn’t have to twist Rose’s arm to get him to appear in the spot and a press release quotes Rose saying that he was “looking forward to developing a long term relationship” with the company. Further twisting the knife in MLB’s side, Goodman characterized Rose’s appearance in the commercial as a “hall of fame performance.”