Controversy and Conor McGregor Help Paddy Power’s Online Sportsbook  

The August 26 showdown between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather helped Paddy Power Betfair negate a poor summer of sports betting activity.

Paddy Power always bet on black.

Paddy Power’s ‘Always Bet on Black’ promo featuring Floyd Mayweather generates enough interest to counteract a slow summer of sport. (Image: news.paddypower.com)

Reporting on 2017’s third quarter earnings, the parent company of Paddy Power noted a 9 percent increase in revenue to £440 million. This upswing resulted in a 7 percent jump in profit to £121 million in the three months to September 30.

A Slow Summer of Sport

However, while earnings for the group as a whole was up, online revenue dropped by 3 percent. Due to a lack of major football tournaments over the summer months, Paddy Power online sportsbook saw activity drop between July and September.

Despite the lack of high level football, chief executive Breon Corcoran said that action surrounding the Mayweather/McGregor fight helped to prevent an even bigger drop in earnings. During the weigh-ins for the multi-million-dollar fight, Mayweather sported a pair of Paddy Power branded boxer shorts.

The move not only helped boost takings at Paddy Power’s sportsbook, but proved that even a controversial promo campaign can be lucrative. In the lead up the fight, Paddy Power used the slogan “always bet on black” to draw attention to its special Mayweather/McGregor promotion and odds.

Paddy Power Has the Last Laugh

In response to the adverts, nine people complained to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) on the grounds that it was racist. Hitting back, a Paddy Power spokesperson said that the campaign had been approved by Mayweather who found it funny.

In spite of this, the ASA still upheld the complaints, which forced Paddy Power to issue an apology to those it may have offended.

“We respect the decision of the ASA and apologise to the nine people who complained about our Always Bet on Black’ advert,” read a Paddy Power press release.

Despite angering a small number of people, it was the betting operator that had the last laugh. Although the action on the historic boxing bout wasn’t enough to increase online takings in Q3, it did provide enough of a buffer to counteract a larger loss for the company. 

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