Drew Brees, the legendary quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, pretended to be struck by lightning as part of a promotional stunt for betting company PointsBet.
On Friday, a video clip posted to Twitter showed Brees filming a commercial for PointsBet in Catatumbo, Venezuela, a location known for its lightning strikes, when a bolt apparently hits him and throws the production off-kilter. As of Friday afternoon, it had been viewed over 1 million times.
Brees confirmed in a subsequent video that he is fine and “buzzing” about the sportsbook’s latest promotion involving “lightning bets,” which allow users to place wagers in-game.
The stunt comes as online sportsbooks become more popular and compete for customers.
“Well, it’s certainly a shock, literally and metaphorically,” said Patrick Rishe, director of Washington University in St. Louis’ sports business program. “I’d say this is one of the worst decisions he’s ever made as a public figure.”
“But boy, this really feels like it’s crossing the line,” Rishe said of PointsBet’s attempt to stand out in the online sports betting market, which is dominated by DraftKings and FanDuel.
Brees’ representative did not respond to a request for comment. Brees is an ambassador for PointsBet, a company that is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and has offices in the United States, Canada, and Ireland.