September 9, 2013 – Paddy Power is an online betting website with betting capabilities online and on mobile devices. They announced today that they are teaming up with Dennis Rodman for the international sporting event for the “Paddy Power / Dennis Rodman Invitational.” This will be an international sporting event to take place in North Korea in January 2014. There will be official support from the DPRK government as well as leader Kim Jong-un.
The game will involve the basketball team from North Korea playing against an all-star team that will be created by Rodman along with key stakeholders in the basketball world. A second match is also scheduled to take place in June 2014 somewhere in Europe.
Rodman announced at a New York press conference that “Kim loves basketball.” While many people question Rodman’s motives, he’s simply trying to play basketball and is trying to “Help us all get along.”
The event is considered to be sports and diplomatic history in the making.
Paddy Power is thrilled to be working with Dennis on this project. They have been working with the basketball all-star on the invitational since February of this year. This is designed to help Dennis realize his dream of making an invitational come true. It will also allow Paddy Power to take bets on this event. Rodman’s marketing agents at Prince Marketing Group and Paddy Power both have some unique styles for marketing and branding on a global level. The official hashtag for the invitational is #BasketballDiplomacy.
Various individuals in the political arena have spoken out about the announcement and many view it as a good thing. The fact that North Korea is willing to work with an American on such an event is a good thing and it could show that there is a window of opportunity to bring about change in North Korea. Dr. Daniel Pinkston, who is the North East Asia Deputy Project Director at the International Crisis Group believes this may be the support that the country needs.
For Rodman and Paddy Power, January can’t come soon enough. The second match to be played in Europe has not been given a venue at this point in time.