Betfair has flown out 1,000 giant gobstoppers to golf’s Ryder Cup in the US in an attempt to silence the famously vocal home fans.
The betting exchange’s move follows US team captain Davis Love III’s warning at a press conference this week that the European team can expect a hot – read hostile – reception at the Medina Country Club from the home supporters.
The oversized sweets are a whopping 45mm in diameter and last more than 250 minutes, which Betfair says is longer than the average round of golf at the Illinois course where the US and European teams are set to lock horns in their biennial battle this weekend.
The gobstoppers are also branded with the immortal phrase beloved of the more vocal US golf supporter, “Get In The Hole”, often heard shouted out at full volume when their players are teeing off at the longest par-5 on the course.
Betfair spokesman Alex Bake said the crowd was going to play a pivotal role in deciding the outcome of the match. “Europe are the underdogs but by handing out these sweets we hope to tip the playing field in their favour.”
Love III’s attempts to rev up the US supporters rekindled memories of the US’ infamous green invasion at the 1999 Ryder Cup held at Brookline, when the US team and their families showed scant regard for golf’s prized code of etiquette by dancing all over the putting line of now European team captain Jose Maria Olazabal, who still had a putt to save the hole.
At the 2010 Ryder Cup held at Celtic Manor, Betfair’s “Watch the birdie” stunt saw five eagles and hawks carry mini-banners branded with this phrase swoop across the golf course ahead of the event in support of the European team, which went on to win.
Paddy Power’s attempt to re-erect the Hollywood-style used at Cheltenham earlier that year on a hill overlooking the golf course was however thwarted when a judge forced them to take it down. But not before the owner of the course helped the bookie to more free publicity by calling the company “scum” on BBC TV for undermining the publicity rights of the event’s official commercial partners.
Betfair re-appointed Big Al’s Creative Emporium as its creative and strategic agency in June last year, which forced Paddy Power to cut its ties with the agency following their successful collaboration on the money-back specials campaign, including 2010′s most-complained-about ad, according to Paddy Power, Blind Football.
Golf fans can also win a “Get In The Hole” gobstopper (pictured above) by following @BetfairSports on Twitter.
Article written by Stephen Carter