Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints
Gregory Shamus | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images
Legendary New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees faked being struck by lightning as part of a promotional stunt for betting company PointsBet.
A video clip posted to Twitter on Friday showed Brees filming a commercial for PointsBet in Catatumbo, Venezuela, a location known for its lightning strikes, when a bolt apparently hits him and knocks the production off kilter.
It was viewed more than 1 million times as of midday Friday.
Brees confirmed in a subsequent video that he’s perfectly fine and “buzzing” about the sportsbook’s latest offer involving its “lightning bets,” which allow users to make in-game wagers.
The stunt comes as online sportsbooks gain popularity and fight for customers.
“Well it’s certainly a shock, literally and figuratively,” said Patrick Rishe, director of the sports business program at Washington University in St. Louis. “I would say this is probably one of the worst decisions he’s made as a public figure.”
Rishe said it’s clear PointsBet tried to do something extraordinary to get attention in the online sports betting market, which is dominated by DraftKings and FanDuel, “but boy, this really feels like it’s crossing the line.”
A representative for Brees did not respond for comment. Brees is an ambassador for PointsBet, which trades on the Australian Stock Exchange and has operations in the United States, Canada and Ireland.