PointsBet Ends Partnership with Drew Brees As He Returns to Coach Purdue

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12/27/2022
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Holding A NFL Helmet

Highlights

  • Drew Brees is leaving for his alma mater, where he was a record-setting player
  • Brees has promised that this is only a temporary stop
  • Brees and PointsBet came under fire after a recent PR stunt where it appeared as if Brees was struck by lightning

PointsBet sportsbook has ended its relationship with former New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees just weeks after a fake-lightning strike stunt.

The operator flew Brees to Venezuela to film a controversial ad for its unique “lighting bets,” which resulted in a viral clip of what appeared to be Brees getting struck by lightning. After a period of silence, he revealed that he was fine, and it was all a ploy.

The two parties were led to part ways following Brees’ appointment as an assistant football coach at his alma mater, Purdue University. Brees has said this is only a temporary position.

PointsBet stays in the headlines

PointsBet sportsbook released a statement Thursday afternoon confirming they were splitting paths with Brees.

“PointsBet would like to congratulate Drew Brees on his appointment as Interim Assistant Coach for the Purdue Boilermakers,” said PointsBet in a statement. “While this is an exciting next step in his career, after careful review, we have decided to end our ambassador partnership agreement with Drew.”

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The sports betting scene is becoming oversaturated very quickly, for while it is the fastest-growing sector in American entertainment, it has also prompted a plethora of companies to explore how they can get involved. PointsBet sportsbook’s solution to the problem may have crossed the line, however.

The advertisement was released less than three weeks ago and with very little context. Fans across the country became immediately concerned for the health of Brees, one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.

PointsBet piled on the concern with a statement released hours after the clip went viral, stating they were aware of media coverage of Brees and were in contact with his team.

Many parties took issue with the ad once it became clear that Brees was fine and the commercial was a mere stunt. A union of lighting strike survivors called it “inappropriate” and “disgusting” and condemned Brees, PointsBet, and the ad.

The Super Bowl XLIV MVP is now ditching the Hollywood life that helped stir the controversy for a familiar background, the football field. He will serve as Purdue’s assistant coach during the January 3 Cheez-It Citrus Bowl against #17 LSU but maintains it will be a short stay.

Brees returns to football

Brees signed a sponsorship agreement with PointsBet in July 2021 and has featured in a variety of commercials since. He was quickly becoming the face of the company despite having only just retired from football in March 2021.

Even if his return to West Lafayette is only temporary, it is still historic. Brees left Purdue as the Big Ten leader in passing yards, touchdowns, total offensive yards, completions and attempts, and was commemorated (along with fellow Purdue QB Brian Griese) with the renaming of the Big Ten’s Quarterback of the Year award, which is now the Griese–Brees Quarterback of the Year award.

Brees is excited to get back on the sideline and help lead his former school against a tough SEC opponent.

“I think this is an opportunity to play against one of the best programs in the country,” Brees said in an interview with WWL Radio Thursday. “The fact that I have a chance to impact our student-athletes, our football players, with coaching and mentorship over the next few weeks and then have a chance to game plan and get back in the mix a little bit… this will be a lot of fun.”

PointsBet has a standing relationship with college football through its partnership with the University of Maryland, one of Purdue’s Big Ten opponents. Ironically, LSU has a partnership with fellow operator Caesars.

The NCAA’s name, image, and likeness bylaws do not explicitly prohibit coaches (or temporary assistant coaches) from endorsing betting brands, but the language is cloudy at best.

Brees and the Boilermakers will take the field at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida January 2 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself in his up-to-the-minute reporting on the latest events in the industry. A member of Virginia Tech’s 2021 graduating class, he has quickly put together an impressive portfolio since moving to the professional world full-time. Grant’s favorite sports to cover are basketball and both types of football (American and soccer), and he is pushing written, audio, and video content. He has been employed by companies as highly regarded as Forbes and continues on a great trajectory in the industry. When he’s not on the clock, you can find Grant at the gym, looking for adventures, or hanging out with his family.

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