It was a bold move by PaddyPower.com but one that promised much more publicity than probability.
PaddyPower is an online gaming site based in Europe that boasts of a sportsbook, casino, bingo section, and poker room. Though it is a successful company, the $75 million endorsement offer it made to Tiger Woods came as a surprise to most in the gaming industry. An acceptance would have paid off in publicity alone, most likely, but the possibility that Woods would take the site up on its offer was highly unlikely.
One of the first media outlets to report the offer was TMZ, a tabloid news site that focuses on celebrities and spent much web space covering the Tiger Woods adultery scandal from the moment the story broke. The most well-known golf pro in the world has since been connected to numerous women with whom he had affairs, which ultimately caused him to lose many of his most lucrative multi-million dollar sponsorship and endorsement deals in the past few months.
The $75 million offer to Woods from PaddyPower was to be a five-year deal, and it was reportedly sent to Woods’ representatives, at which point the offer was refused. But according to TMZ, “Paddy claims it’s planning to come back with an even sweeter offer in the near future.”
No official word has been released by PaddyPower regarding the deal, and no information can be found on its website regarding the declined offer to Woods or any possibility of a second offer.
PaddyPower likely anticipated the wealth of publicity from an endorsement deal with Tiger but knew that as he tries to rebuild his reputation, personally and professionally, entering an agreement with an overseas online gaming site would not be a positive step in his career restructuring process. The gaming industry as a whole knows that most mainstream athletes, especially those embroiled in scandals, will not want to be associated with online gaming, an industry that finds itself in a gray area regarding legality in the United States.