Controversial Paddy Power Suarez campaign revealed

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Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has revealed the details of a controversial marketing campaign it had agreed in principle with representatives of Uruguay and Liverpool footballer Luis Suarez.

SuarezAccording to the Irish Independent newspaper, the bookmaker had struck a deal for Suarez to wear a special Paddy Power branded mouth guard during a high-profile game of the ongoing Fifa World Cup national team tournament.

It was agreed that Suarez would reveal the mouth guard during the national anthems before the Uruguay vs. Colombia in the tournament’s last-16 knockout round.

Paddy Power said it struck the deal after Suarez was accused of biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during an earlier World Cup Group D match between Italy and Uruguay. It is the third time in his professional career that Suarez has been accused of biting an opponent.

However, the marketing stunt never took place as Suarez was found guilty of biting and handed a four-month before the game from all football-related activities by football’s governing body Fifa.

Sources from Paddy Power also confirmed that it is not the first time it had approached Suarez about the marketing proposal.

"Last summer we had several exchanges with Joel Borras Garcia from Pere Guardiola's management company," Paddy Power sources said. "The discussions were around sponsoring Suarez's gum shield for his return match to the Premier League after his last biting ban (on Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic). Negotiations broke down over cost but in theory, he was up for it."

"We reconnected with Garcia immediately after his latest World Cup biting 'incident' and in principle we had a deal in place whereby Suarez would reveal a Paddy Power branded mouth guard during the national anthems before the Uruguay vs. Columbia match. Unfortunately Fifa had other ideas and when the four-month ban was announcement, the deal fell apart. I guess you could say it was the best ambush marketing campaign that never was."

Bendtner Paddy PowerPaddy Power is well known for its controversial campaigns, including one that saw Danish international striker Nicklas Bendtner flash a pair of Paddy Power branded underpants when celebrating a goal during the 2012 European Championships.

Bendtner was fined €100,000 ($135,977) by European football’s governing body Uefa, a fine which the bookmaker subsequently paid.

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