Tuesday December 24,2013 : PADDY POWER WITHDRAWS RODMAN SPONSORSHIP
Online gambling group candid in admitting that it got this one wrong.
The publicity generated earlier this year by the reported friendship between the high-profile former US basketball star Dennis Rodman and North Korea's dangerously unpredictable dictator Kim Jong-un worked well for the online and land gambling group Paddy Power when Rodman last visited the so-called Hermit Kingdom but apparently not this time around.
And it has ended with an announcement by the gambling group that it is no longer sponsoring Rodman along with a candid admission that the marketers, with the benefit of hindsight, "…got this one wrong."
Undeterred, the controversial American athlete says he'll be going back again anyway.
Rodman's return to North Korea last week achieved some coverage, but was brief and apparently did not include a re-visit with his powerful mate, who has been cutting ambitious family members down to size, according to press reports.
His goal in returning to North Korea was to tie up plans to stage a basketball demonstration involving 11 other former NBA aces in Pyongyang early next year to mark Kim Jong-un’s birthday, although he has acknowledged that some of his prospective team may have reservations about travelling to North Korea in the currently tense political climate there.
Paddy Power's statement, issued via the Associated Press news agency, was straightforward if brief:
“Given changed circumstances, Paddy Power has decided to withdraw its association with the Dennis Rodman basketball initiative in North Korea.
“This isn’t a financial decision. We’ll be honouring all our contractual commitments to Dennis and his team.
"We’ve reviewed the project, and with the benefit of hindsight, we’ve recognised we’ve got this one wrong.
“Because of this, we have decided to remove our name from the event.”