The trend for sportsmen to sometimes extravagantly celebrate a score – whether it's a cluster hug on the cricket field, players doing somersaults on the goal line or more OTT antics – has clearly attracted the eye of the Betfair marketers. According to posts on the Brand Republic blog, the betting exchange is offering Premiership footballers in the UK the chance to pocket a GBP10 000 Christmas bonus for doing the ‘world’s first commercial goal celebration'.
How this will go down with the Brit football authorities is not yet clear, but it's an interesting concept.
Betfair is promoting TaiKai – a new football prediction game – and will give GBP10k to the first Premiership footballer who celebrates a goal with a dance which begins in the famous Karate Kid Crane pose, followed by a violent forward kick and then some Karate chops to spell out the T and K of TaiKai. Apparently Betfair has already distributed a step-by-step guide to every Premier League footballer, agent and club.
The news set triggered an interesting exchange of views on past and present individual celebratory moves by top footballers. These included Peter Crouch’s ‘Robot’; the Klinsmann dive; the Brazil ’94 team’s cradle rocking celebration and Francesco Totti taking over the television camera to film the fans celebrating his goal during the Roma/Lazio derby. Others recalled were thumb sucking and shhhhh-ing the opposition supporters, along with the darker side of the celebration fad – Nazi salutes or the more recent and infamous "handcuffs" gesture. One fan recalled Robbie Keane's cartwheels and archer celebrations, describing them as "cheesy but entertaining."