Social media and sport – why I love Paddy Power…
I am massively into my sport and love all the pre-event build-up, during match discussions and post-event analysis.
Whether it’s the Ashes, Champions League, Wimbledon or Cheltenham brands always take to social media in the hope of gaining the consumers’ attention and ultimately their custom.
Likes, shares and comments (and actually any kind of online interaction) are all forms of currency in the land of social media and shows the big CEOs that social media is more than worth investing time, money and effort into.
In my opinion, no brand engages with the world of sport better than bookmaker, Paddy Power. I first truly appreciated their audacious approach to marketing back at the heavily rain delayed 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.
It was early October in South Wales and it was chucking it down (are you surprised?). Colin Montgomerie was looking even more miserable than usual and most of the US team were trying to figure out if Wales is in England.
The genius team at Paddy Power HQ decided to liven things up a little. They hired out farmland overlooking the first tee at Celtic Manor installing a giant statue sporting the words PADDY POWER.
The 270ft high promotional sign caught all the headlines as the Irish bookmaker got one over on all the major corporate sponsors (who were presumably paying into the millions for official partnerships) and put Paddy Power on the map globally. Cardiff Council eventually ordered the bookmaker to take the structure down but for Paddy Power their plan had worked, and they received good and bad press surrounding their 270ft erection.
They have since established themselves as the leading bookmaker when it comes to comedy value, and their extremely witty PR and social team continue to test the boundaries of what is and isn’t allowed and one of their latest posts hit the nail on the head.
Clearly licking their lips over the recent Australian cricket team ball tampering scam, they just couldn’t help themselves, could they? Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft all decided to face the media and break down in tears (it was pretty funny) at their press conferences. Not ones to be too sympathetic to times of emotion, Paddy Power jumped right in, posting on Twitter:
“Every time I turn the TV on there seems to be an Australian crying. I haven’t seen such sadness from down under since Karl Kennedy cheated on Susan”.
It's this kind of quick wit and guerrilla marketing that has seen them continue to grow their social media following significantly over their competitors. Paddy Power lead the way with 647k followers on twitter with their nearest rivals Bet 365 on 380k and Ladbrokes propping up the table of the big boys with 197k. Those figures speak volumes, kudos to the social media and PR team at Paddy Power! We love your work.