Drew Brees, Gambling Company Fake Lightning Strike In Publicity Stunt

Ernesto Cova
Drew Brees
Shutterstock | 487966

Drew Brees found plenty of success in his NFL career, winning one Super Bowl with one Super Bowl MVP and countless accolades.

Brees is a lock to make it to the Hall of Fame as soon as he's eligible. He's got one of the greatest résumés for a quarterback, earning hundreds of thousands of fans and supporters along the way.

That's why his latest publicity stunt wasn't met with good eyes by most people.

They Set The Stage

On November 29, the New Orleans Saints legend revealed that he was going to a secret location to film a promo ad:

"Excited to be flying to a top-secret location later this week to shoot the new promotional video for @PointsBetUSA," Brees tweeted.

Then, professional photographer Rafael Hernández posted that he was going to do a promo ad in Venezuela's Lake Maracaibo featuring the unique Catatumbo lighting:

"Excited to show off the beauty of the Catatumbo lightning as part of shooting promotional content with an American sports brand. Details to be revealed soon!" the photographer tweeted.

PointsBet Played Along

Then, Hernandez shared a video of Brees seemingly being struck by lightning while filming. It was most likely a fake video, but speculation was quick to arise all over social media.

Then, PointsBet played along perfectly and added more fuel to the fire with a tweet regarding Bree's safety:

"We are aware of the media coverage regarding PointsBet brand ambassador Drew Brees. 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," the company tweeted.

Brees Trolls The Falcons, Claims It's All Good

Drew Brees
Shutterstock | 82759

Eventually, and fortunately, it was just a publicity stunt, just like most fans predicted.

"The lightning must’ve thought I was wearing a Falcons jersey, that’s why it tried to get me. I’m fine…Who Dat!" Brees wrote on Instagram before PointsBet released the full ad promoting its 'lightning bets' feature for the weekend:

It Worked, But At What Cost?

This was a rather inoffensive and actually well-thought publicity stunt for PointsBet and Brees. Nonetheless, faking an almost certain death may not be the most ethical way to promote an ad, especially considering how many people care for him and his well-being:

“Well it’s certainly a shock, literally and figuratively,” said Patrick Rishe, director of the sports business program at Washington University in St. Louis, per CNBC.com. “I would say this is probably one of the worst decisions he’s made as a public figure.”

Also, this wouldn't be the first time that the Catatumbo lightning killed an athlete, as Venezuelan pitcher Geremi Hernandez was struck dead in 2008 while also filming a promotional ad.

The Catatumbo is an 'infinite lightning,' a unique natural phenomenon that strikes multiple times every day at Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela, and it draws hundreds of thousands of tourists — both foreign and domestic — to its shores every year.

At the end of the day, all that matters is that Brees is safe and sound, but he may not want to mess with his fans again after this.