Video: Sick Marketing Ploy? Everyone Was Convinced NFL Legend Was Struck by Lightning


In one of the more harrowing incidents you can ever catch on camera, NFL legend and former New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers quarterback Drew Brees appeared to have been struck by a bolt of lightning.

In one of the more disgusting marketing ploys you can deploy, there’s mounting evidence that this was just a stunt to garner attention — and it clearly worked.

The incident occurred while Brees was filming a commercial for the sports gambling site PointsBet.

PointsBet released a statement to Twitter on Friday acknowledging the incident but, tellingly, providing no health update on Brees.

“We are aware of the media coverage regarding PointsBet brand ambassador Drew Brees,” it said. “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 statement.”

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The former NFL star had previously announced that he would be filming a promo for PointsBet at “a top-secret location,” clearly trying to garner some attention before the “shoot.”

The video of the incident appears to have begun circulating from a Twitter account belonging to filmmaker Rafael Hernandez.

You can see the crazy video for yourself below:

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ProFootballTalk reported that Brees was filming the commercial at the Catatumbo River between Colombia and Venezuela.

As you can see in the BBC video below, the spot where the river meets Lake Maracaibo produces the weather phenomena known as “Catatumbo Lightning,” which purports to hit the lake 1.6 million times per year:

Filming a commercial on that river seems like a bad decision for a multitude of safety reasons, but it does add authenticity to the viral video.

For Brees and PointsBet, the viral video certainly fooled quite a few people, including NFL reporter Dov Kleiman.

The cellphone footage aesthetics of the video certainly lend themselves to this being a real incident, but that appears to have been part of the marketing plan.

With someone as well-known and generally beloved as Brees being zapped on camera, it was unsurprising that other NFL reporters quickly sought to get to the bottom of this.

Saints reporter Nick Underhill simply said in a tweet Friday that Brees was “fine.”

Kevin Dupuy of WWL-TV in New Orleans asked, “Fine as in ‘not hurt in lightning strike’ or fine as in ‘viral marketing stunt’?”

Underhill responded that the viral video was a “spoof.”

New Orleans reporter Luke Johnson also said people had “nothing to worry about.”

ESPN Saints reporter Katherine Terrell said she reached out to Brees directly for an update.

“I just texted Drew Brees,” Terrell said. “He said he’s good and that he did not get struck by lightning.”

The kicker came when Brees went on social media to make a joke about the ordeal, declaring he was “fine”:

So there you have it.

The good news: Drew Brees, by all measures a consummate family man and good guy, is perfectly OK.

The bad news: Brees is using his popularity for cheap ploys like this.

Hopefully, this will be the last marketing stunt of this type that sports fans will have to deal with. After all, you do know what they say about “Fool me once …”

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
Phoenix, Arizona
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