World Darts Championship sponsor Paddy Power to donate £1,000 to Prostate Cancer UK for every 180 hit during 2024 tournament; bookies had jokingly announced earlier this week that treble 20 bed would turn green at Alexandra Palace but true intent of ‘Big 180’ campaign now revealed
Last Updated: 30/11/23 9:42am
World Darts Championship sponsors Paddy Power will not be turning the treble 20 green at this year’s tournament, with the Irish bookmarkers instead donating £1,000 to Prostate Cancer UK for every 180 hit.
Paddy Power set the darting world abuzz on Tuesday when it announced that the treble 20 bed would change from its traditional red this year but that was all in jest with the real intent of the ‘Big 180’ campaign revealed.
A total of 901 maximums were struck during last year’s World Darts Championship and it is hoped that will be smashed this year at Alexandra Palace with a potential £1m being donated.
All money raised throughout the Paddy Power World Darts Championship – which is live on Sky Sports from Friday December 15 – will fund lifesaving research to diagnose men sooner and improve the lives of those affected by the most common cancer in men.
In addition, the bookmaker and the Professional Darts Corporation will join forces and use all their channels to challenge 180,000 fans, followers and customers in the UK to use Prostate Cancer UK’s online risk checker via prostatecanceruk.org/180-risk
A Paddy Power spokesperson said: “We would like to officially apologise if we caused Peter Wright, Michael van Gerwen or any of the other players undue stress this week.
“But if it grabbed the attention of them and just a fraction of the audience darts has, then it will all have been worthwhile.
“One in eight men are at risk of prostate cancer, so our aim is to hit them right between the bullseyes with The BIG 180 campaign which will be unmissable this Christmas.
PDC chief executive Matthew Porter said: “When our new sponsors Paddy Power suggested pranking our players two weeks out from the tournament to get the public’s attention, it sounded like a huge risk.
“Ultimately, it was one we were willing to take if it means the millions of men who will tune into the World Darts Championship, alongside their loved ones, are encouraged to take 30 seconds to check their risk.”
Prostate Cancer UK chief executive Laura Kerby said: “We are thrilled to become the official charity partner of the Paddy Power World Darts Championship and thank Paddy Power and the PDC for uniting the darts community as we target this disease head on.
“This iconic tournament is a sporting staple across the festive period, and The BIG 180 will put us at the heart of the action. It will be a complete gamechanger for men and their loved ones affected by prostate cancer – one maximum at a time.”
Two-time world champion Dennis Priestley, who was treated for prostate cancer after being diagnosed in November 2007, helped launch the campaign, saying: “Nearly all cancers can be beaten if caught early enough, including prostate cancer. I’m the proof after 16 years that if you get it diagnosed early enough you can beat it.”
Peter Wright, the 2020 and 2022 PDC world champion, wears the ‘Man of Men’ badge on his collar in solidarity with friends affected by prostate cancer.
Wright, who is preparing to play in this year’s World Championship, said: “As a man over 50 it’s so important to know your risk of prostate cancer, and I’m sure I speak for all of the players taking part this year by saying we are gunning for as many treble 20s as possible.
“To know every maximum will trigger a £1,000 donation to Prostate Cancer UK is another fantastic incentive for us all to play well this year. The fact we can hit Paddy Power where it hurts for their antics earlier this week helps, too!
“I deal in numbers for a living, but hearing one in eight men will get prostate cancer shocked me. I know people affected by this disease; that’s why I always wear Prostate Cancer UK’s ‘Man of Men’ badge on the oche.
“Knowing we will help raise money to contribute to saving lives every time we throw 180 will be amazing.”
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