DraftKings, a renowned American betting giant, recently stirred a hornet’s nest with a controversial promotion. The promotion, tied to the unfortunate events of 9/11, sparked significant backlash, leading to an official apology from the management.
Commemorating 9/11 – The Misstep
In an attempt to commemorate the tragic day, DraftKings offered a special promotion – a unique parlay bet that left people more outraged than appreciative. Members of the 9/11 Justice community, like Brett Eagleson, whose father tragically passed away during the attacks, considered the move crass and distasteful. The public sentiment mirrored the same, with many calling the promotion a “shameful” attempt at leveraging a national tragedy.
After facing the heat, DraftKings swiftly took down the contentious promotion. The company acknowledged its misjudgment, stating their respect for the significance of 9/11. However, they remained tight-lipped about the number of bettors who participated and whether those bets were canceled.
Learning from the Backlash
The DraftKings 9/11 promotion has been a wake-up call for many businesses. It serves as a reminder to think twice before using national tragedies for personal gain. Companies should use the sensitivities of people surrounding sensitive events like 9/11 and not try to exploit them, as recently also happened with Evolution Software.
DraftKings’ Apology and Corporate Sensitivities
DraftKings’ statement read, “We sincerely apologize for the featured parlay that was shared briefly in commemoration of 9/11. We respect the significance of this day for our country and especially for the families of those who were directly affected.”
This incident isn’t the first of its kind, as businesses, in the past, have used the 9/11 attacks in their promotions. From arranging soda bottles resembling the ill-fated towers to cartoons and special promotions, companies have tried, unsuccessfully, to appeal to American sensitivities.
The DraftKings incident serves as a reminder of the thin line businesses must tread when referencing significant events. While promotions such as “bingo” or “slots” can be fun and engaging, it is crucial for companies to distinguish between what is appropriate and what is not.
In a society still healing from the wounds of 9/11, it is advised not to explore this topic for promotional activities. It’s a lesson all businesses, big or small, need to learn from the DraftKings incident – respect for significant historical events should supersede marketing efforts.