Wednesday 20 February 2019

Top 5 Paddy Power publicity stunts that helped build a betting powerhouse

It was Paddy Power's aggressive policy of expansion as well as its irreverent guerrilla marketing that transformed it from local betting shop business to global betting giant.

Once upon a time the book-making business was somewhat frowned upon. Bookies’ shops opened on discrete side street locations, away from prying eyes, where ‘ne’er-do-well’ young bucks could duck out from their bar-stool to the ‘turf accountant’s’ for a flutter on the gee - gees.

That was how the betting shop product was seen when 40 Irish shops merged in 1988 to trade under the name ‘Paddy Power’. The ‘Paddy’ was chosen to emphasise the Irish ownership at a time when the Irish market was fragmented and UK competition had set their sights on the Irish punter. Paddy Power immediately started an aggressive expansion campaign that saw the opening of betting shops in prominent high street positions. It was the start of a reinvention of an industry that was about to go stellar with the advent of Internet gambling. Paddy Power took the same energy to their online business and a marketing strategy that was irreverent, controversial - and very, very effective. Here are the top 5 Paddy Power publicity stunts that helped make Paddy Power a global power house of online betting.

Nicklas Bendtner’s lucky Paddy Power pants

After bagging a brace of headers in Denmark’s group B match against Portugal in the European Championships Niklas Bendtner caused a storm by revealing the band on his Paddy Power lucky pants. The stunt drew a record fine for the bookmaker, but drew huge publicity helping establish Paddy Power on the global stage.

Sky tweet over Medinah

During the 2012 Ryder Cup, Paddy Power took to the sky over the Medinah Country Club (USA) with a special ‘sky tweet’ in support of team Europe. Twitter followers were encouraged to tweet messages in support of team Europe and they were then written in the sky by a fleet of planes. Genius.

Chavving a laugh

The hilarious TV spot by Paddy Power came after 2012 Ascot racing festival made the news for all the wrong reasons. Poking fun at ‘chavs’ and how their presence at the upcoming Cheltenham festival could be tranquilised ‘veterinary style’, some could say it’s offensive but really it’s just down right funny. It was an Internet sensation.

Acting Daft

Paddy Power’s guerrilla marketing struck again fooling 2014 Brit Award security staff into allowing two Daft Punk lookalikes onto the red carpet only for their masked pranksters to drop their trousers to reveal Paddy Power pants.

Farage backs team Europe

What? UKIP leader Nigel Farage reveals his love for all things European, but especially its golfers, in an ad ahead of the 2014 Ryder Cup. It shouldn’t work but it did and just goes to show, that for Paddy Power, no ground can be considered unfertile to sow their marketing seeds.

Last year (2014) Paddy Power reported a record annual pre-tax profit of €167m, up 21% on the previous year and the odds are good on the company’s sustained future growth. For a company of this size, making so many significant transactions on the Internet the role of Chief Information Officer is a crucial one. Fin Goulding the CIO for Paddy Power is a keynote speaker for The Smart Business Show which takes place at the RDS on the 22nd and 23rd, he’s bound to offer some valuable insights into the business side of what is a hugely successful company.

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