Drew Brees is a legendary NFL player whose name is near the top of every major quarterbacking category. The Super Bowl champion is second all-time in career touchdown passes, career passing yards, career pass attempts, career pass completions, and career passing completion percentage. Along the way, Brees became a league favorite among fans of all teams, but specifically the New Orleans Saints, where he played from 2006-2020.
So it came as no surprise that news of Drew Brees getting struck by lightning set Twitter ablaze. An eerie video was released showing Brees apparently getting struck by lightning after filming a commercial for PointsBet Sportsbook, an online sports-betting site.
Then, the company released an odd statement that raised suspicions online.
“We are aware of the media coverage regarding PointsBet brand ambassador Drew Brees,” the statement read. “We are in communication with Brees’ team and will continue to monitor events throughout the coming hours. At this stage we will not be making any further comment.”
Apparently, Brees had traveled to South America to film a promotional video in a thunderstorm. The footage showed a lightning flash near Brees before the camera shut off.
However, from the jump, fans online were skeptical. And rightfully so, because the entire thing turned out to be a publicity stunt by the online sportsbook.
First, ESPN Saints reporter Katherine Terrell shut down rumors when she posted a tweet saying that she had texted Brees, who said he was “good” and “did not get struck by lightning.”
After that report, many fans reacted negatively online to the gimmicky promotion. Then, PointsBet Sportsbook put out a statement from Drew Brees himself.
Sportsbook Posts Video of ‘Alive and Well’ Drew Brees
In the video posted below, Brees explains his partnership with Sportsbook and the rumors of his being struck by lightning.
“What’s up, guys? Drew Brees here. Just wanted to jump on let you know that I am alive and well here in Catatumbo, Venezuela, which is by the way the most active hotspot for lightning strikes in the world.”
Brees then goes on to say that he’s “buzzing” because of PointsBet’s new promotional, where they’re giving away free ‘lightning’ bets to all customers this weekend.
We see what he did there.
The commercial ends with a nod to the lightning-strike hoax. Brees says he has to get back to the commercial set. Then, he steps out of the ambulance and says “hopefully lightning doesn’t strike twice,” before getting zapped again in an obvious computer-generated display.
So, the news of Brees’ lightning strike predictably turned out to be a marketing ploy. While many fans were upset with the aggressive and misleading tactics, it seems the company achieved its goal.
Also, they aren’t lying when they say that Catatumbo, Venezuela is the lightning capital of the world. Its unusual atmospheric conditions create the highest density of lightning in the world.