Earlier today (Friday, March 5. 2009), TVWeek ran an item that Tiger Woods had turned down an offer of $75 million to enter a sponsorship agreement with Paddy Power, a legitimate bookmaker in Ireland. (The company is public and has a market value of $1.6 billion.)
In that item, from Bloomberg’s Business Week, we quoted a Paddy Power spokesman as saying that the offer to Woods is "absolutely not a publicity stunt."
Furthermore, the company said it was going to go back to Woods and raise its offer in its continuing attempt to land him as an endorser.
Paddy Power is also known for taking lots of novelty bets. For example, the last time there was a vacancy for Pope, they set odds as to which Cardinal would get the position so one could place wagers with Paddy Power on the event.
So I then wrote in our item this morning:
Thus taking them at their word that this effort to land Tiger Woods as a spokesman is not a publicity stunt, I’ve emailed Paddy Power the following note:
"Hi there. I’ve read that Paddy Power is trying to land Tiger Woods in a sponsorship deal. I want to bet on whether or not you’ll end up signing him. What odds have you set so I can decide what my bet will be?"
No response so far. I’ll let you know if and when I hear from them.
Well, I’ve now received a response: "Unfortunately, we do not have any prices to offer on this market Paddy Power landing Tiger Woods in a sponsorship deal."
When I emailed back asking why not, this was the reply:
Thank you for contacting Paddy Power Customer Support.
While I can’t say with any certainty why our traders don’t price a given market, one can speculate in this case that the reason the market would be inappropriate is that we’d be accepting bets on something that we’re intimately involved with. For the same reason a sportsperson is not allowed bet on the outcome of their own match, it would be slightly dubious were we accepting bets on a result that we would know well before the punter."
Too bad. I was prepared to win a lot of money betting that no amount of money will convince Woods to take this gig.