The Bad Luck of Exposing Your Lucky Underwear

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Let's count the fun ironies in this story about Nicklas Bendtner, a soccer player for Denmark who's in trouble for pulling down his pants while celebrating a goal during a Euro 2012 match against Portugal on Wednesday. First, he's not in trouble, as you might expect, for pulling down his shorts at a major sporting event. (In fairness, he only lowered them slightly.) No, the crime is that his underwear had the name of betting website Paddy Power, while the official betting website of the Danish team (Europe loves betting) is Ladbrokes. The Associated Press quotes the spokesman for Danish Football Association

"We have an exclusive deal ... and this is of course a breach of it. And it's also a breach of UEFA's commercial rules, rules against exposing personal messages."

(Side note: "personal messages" sounds like a delightful British euphemism, given that he exposed this one by pulling down his pants.)

Second, this is apparently his "lucky" underwear -- so lucky that upon exposure, it's brought him an investigation from soccer officials. Bendtner says:

"But it was not a conscious thing on my part. It was simply some underwear that give a little luck. I also wore them in the first match and have worn them before."

(Side note: They lost the match 3-2, despite his the goal he scored. Some lucky underwear...)

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Third, he wasn't even actually paid for this "ambush marketing" scheme by the company he advertised, according to the company itself. They just send the underwear around to various players, and he seems to have thrown it on a few times. So, seems to present a great marketing opportunity for some smart clothing company. Create a line of "lucky underpants," branded for people who want to wear it to their SATs or their school play or whatever. Then get an exclusive contract with soccer players, requiring that they pull down their pants after every goal to reveal your product. That way players can celebrate with abandon minus the risk of investigation, and you can rake in profit. It's genius. We'll accept any and all royalties.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.