We all know the story: Nicklas Bendtner shot a goal for Denmark in the Euro 2012 group stage match against Portugal and lifted up his shirt to reveal green underpants with Paddy Power logo on them.
Some may say it’s wrong, some may say it’s tasteless, UEFA, the European football governing body says it’s forbidden. But you have to agree it was a beautiful marketing stunt by Paddy Power operating in full compliance with Irish gambling laws.
Paddy Power is the biggest and the most respected online sportsbooks in Ireland. It’s well-known for its borderline advertising campaigns and publicity stunts. UEFA thinks that this time the sportsbook and the Danish striker went a bit too far.
Advertising on players’ equipment is strictly forbidden during the UEFA competitions. And the body decided to punish Bendtner with a EUR 100,000 fine and also suspended him for one World Cup qualifiers.
We all understand that the fine will be covered by the online gambling establishment and they even pledged to help the player appeal UEFA’s decision.
The company is rumored to have told Ireland gambling news: “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.”
In any case hats-off to Paddy and Nicklas for having the balls to laugh in the face of UEFA bureaucrats. If only football lawmakers had a better sense of humor, the games would be so much more amusing.