Paddy Power dream team but Pelé is not onside
There was an important omission from the photograph that adorned the front cover of Paddy Power’s interim results presentation this week. Where was Pelé?
In true Paddy Power style, the cover trumpeted one of the bookmaker’s finest guerrilla PR operations.
A couple of weeks ago it emerged Paddy Power has agreed to sponsor financially-struggling non-league British football club Farnborough FC.
But on one condition: the players must all change their names by deed poll to correspond with some of the finest footballers the world has ever seen.
So when Farnborough play Eastbourne Borough tomorrow the Blue Square Bet South league leaders will line out against Messi, Lineker, Cruyff, Beckham, etc.
And Paddy Power will have got one over on a rival – Blue Square is the online gambling arm of the Rank casino group.
The greatest of them all, or at least some English bloke with the same name as him, was nowhere to be seen, however, when the team lined out for a photograph for the Paddy Power results presentation.
Apparently, one of our top level sources tells me, Pelé had a hangover the morning the photograph was scheduled to be taken.
He also apparently fell out with Maradona over who would wear the number 10 jersey. But it’s all sorted now.
The Farnborough coup has delivered global coverage for Paddy Power.
Its share price might have had a bit of a wobble over the summer, but it is still king of the PR jungle.