Retired NFL great Drew Brees is just fine and the center of an apparent marketing ploy that had social media humming on Friday.
Reports emerged overnight that Brees apparently had been stuck by lightning while filming a promotion for PointsBet USA in Venezuela. Grainy video was posted to Twitter that showed a film crew, with Brees on a television monitor, scurrying about with thunder heard in the background and lightning in the area. After a loud clap of thunder, the video went dark.
PointsBet USA said it was monitoring reports that he was struck by lightning.
"We are aware of the media coverage regarding PointsBet brand ambassador Drew Brees," PointsBet USA posted to its official Twitter account. "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."
But an hour later, the company did have something else to say. The lightning report turned out to be a gimmick to drum up interest in the sportsbook's "lightning bets" promotion.
"Time to let you in on a little fun we've had with @drewbrees guys. He's alive and well and 'buzzing' for a weekend of free bets. Keep your eyes on our channels all weekend for bet drops for US vs. Netherlands, College Football and NFL," PointsBet tweeted.
In an accompanying video, Brees said he was "buzzing" with excitement about the free lightning bets.
Brees tweeted on Tuesday that he was heading to "a top-secret location later this week" to shoot a new promotional video for PointsBet USA. He signed with the sportsbook in July 2021.
Brees, 43, retired following the 2020 season -- his 20th in the NFL. He threw for 80,358 yards and 571 touchdowns -- second only to Tom Brady in both categories -- for the San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints. A 13-time Pro Bowl selection, he led the Saints to a win in Super Bowl XLIV.
--Field Level Media