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From Russia with Equal Love: How Paddy Power made accidental allies of the World Cup home nation

Pictured L-R: Michelle Bulger, Kinetic, Sarah Taylor, Wide Eye Outdoor, Orla Cleary, Paddy Power, David Scott-Lennon OMD

Paddy Power teamed up with OMD and Wide Eye Outdoor during the FIFA World Cup to promote its innovative Gay Goals campaign in pubs in Ireland. Every time Russia scored a goal, Paddy Power donated £10k to LGBT+ charities. Working with Attitude magazine‘s Foundation, the cash is going to:

  • Challenge LGBT+ prejudice on and off the field
  • Support footballers and those in the game in coming out
  • Fund educational programmes in schools and colleges
  • Make grass-roots teams safe spaces for LGBT+ players

OMD, Paddy Powers’ Irish media agency, worked closely with Kinetic and Wide Eye Outdoor to execute the World Cup campaign across the Social D and Window D digital screens on Wide Eye Outdoor’s pub network. This included running the Gay Goals ad copy every time Russia was playing.

Paddy Power spokesperson Orla Cleary said: “We are delighted that our accidental allies, aka the Russian Football Team, managed to hang in there for so long at the World Cup, inadvertently raising £170,000 for LGBT+ causes. When we first launched the campaign, we were sceptical of the home nation, and tournament’s lowest ranked team’s chances so we pledged to donate a minimum of £50k, but they smashed that out of the park in the first match! As we saw the donations rack up throughout the tournament, the pub screens allowed us to update our message reactively and enabled us to promote the most relevant and up-to-date message, which was fantastic.”

“Social D and Window D gave Paddy Power the perfect platform to communicate in real time with football fans in pubs as goals were scored,” according to Sarah Taylor, Director of Wide Eye Outdoor. “We are proud to have been part of this campaign which supports the LGBT+ community while putting a smile on people’s faces. The fact that Gay Pride took place on the same weekend as a Russia match made the campaign all the more timely.”

One of the beauties of Digital Out of Home is the fact that copy can be changed so quickly. Paddy Power took advantage of this by increasing the donation to €20K per goal for the Russia v Spain game during the Pride weekend.

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