Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has revealed that its previously announced plans to colour the dartboard treble 20 green during this year’s World Darts Championships (WDC) was actually a hoax.
The Flutter Entertainment betting brand will instead be donating £1,000 to ProstateUK for every 180 hit at the WDC, which will take place from 15 December to 3 January at the Alexandra Palace (Ally Pally) in London.
In a statement, Paddy Power explained the charitable initiative as aiming to hit men ‘right between the bullseyes’ with its BIG 180 campaign taking place over the Christmas period, seeking to raise awareness of prostate cancer, which one in eight men are at risk of.
“Earlier this week we announced Paddy Power will be turning the Treble 20 green at the launch of the Paddy Power World Darts Championship to universal fanfare and adulation from darts fans across the globe,” the bookmaker’s statement read.
“Ok, that last bit was a lie. Most of you hated it. Really hated it. The players did as well. And, OK, the first bit was a big ‘ol fib too – and we can today reveal the true reason why.”
The firm hopes to raise over £1m for 2024 and ‘raise awareness for chaps to get themselves checked out over Christmas’. The £1m figure is based on the calculation that £910,000 would have been raised at last year’s WDC based on the amount of 180s hit.
Additionally, the campaign has also been backed by pro-darts players Nathan Aspinall and Gary Anderson, the latter of whom said: “The more out there it is, the more people hear it and the more people who might do something about it.
“There shouldn’t be any embarrassment, it’s like with everything, you’ve got to help yourself out. There’s so many things going about now you’ve just got to look after yourself and if not yourself then your brothers, your dad, uncles, grandads. The more it’s put out there the more people will listen.”
A prominent retail and online betting brand in the UK, Paddy Power is known for its tongue-in-cheek approach to marketing and fan engagement, with a notable series of adverts featuring former England footballer Peter Crouch.
More traditional sports sponsorship activities are also included in its marketing strategy, however. This includes the title sponsorship of the WDC, as well as partnerships in horse racing with the likes of ITV Racing and the Gold Cup.