Danish Soccer Star Charged Over Underwear Sponsorship Stunt

June 15, 2012

Danish soccer star Nicklas Bendtner is to face punishment for a marketing sneak attack involving his underwear.

Celebrating his second goal in Denmark’s 3-2 loss Wednesday against Portugal, Bendtner lifted his shirt and lowered his shorts slightly, revealing the name of an Irish betting firm across the top of his underpants, which had the name of a company that is not an official sponsor of the event.

European football’s governing body said in a statement: “Uefa has today announced that disciplinary proceedings have been opened against Denmark’s Nicklas Bendtner for improper conduct (Law 4 of the Laws of the Game) at the Uefa EURO 2012 Group B match against Portugal in Lviv on Wednesday 13 June.


“The Uefa Control and Disciplinary Body will deal with this case on Monday.”

Not only is that against UEFA rules, which bar players from wearing any sponsor advertising on their kit. It also didn’t go down well with a British gambling company, one of the official sponsors of Denmark’s national team.

Ambush marketing involves companies trying to get attention at an event without paying official sponsorship fees which organisers tend to hate. Soccer governing body UEFA has Euro 2012 rules that everything worn by players must be free of unauthorized ads — so Bendtner could face some punishment.

He’s said, however, that he didn’t know there was anything wrong with wearing his “lucky underwear” and that he won’t wear those boxers again. Paddy Power, the betting firm whose logo was on the underwear, tweeted a picture of that logo being revealed right after it happened. But the firm says it didn’t pay Bendtner.