Nice to Meet You, Mr. 888.com
If 888.com has its way Hakeem Nicks of the New York Giants may be answering to the name of Mr. 888.com soon.
Online gambling site 888.com is trying to drum up a little free publicity with an outlandish offer to NFL player Hakeem Nicks, offering to donate $88,800 to a charity of his choice if he legally changes his name to 888.com for one year.
Nicks might seem an odd choice for the offer but he wears uniform number 88 and plays for a team that has its home games in New Jersey, which is the latest U.S. state to allow online gambling operators such as 888.com to offer online casino and poker to residents and tourists in New Jersey.
Quite a few obstacles remain for the name swap to occur, with a big one being that Nicks makes millions as a professional football player and isn't likely to change his name for what amounts to chump change.
An even larger obstacle is the fact that the NFL has to first approve any name changes of players, a rule that is in place for situations exactly such as this one due to the fact that players' names are printed on the back of jerseys and the NFL wants to prevent any company from getting free publicity that way.
888.com obviously knows all that and likely won't be too heartbroken if Nicks rejects their offer, content with the publicity the bizzare offer has already drummed up in the media and press.
For their part the company is at least playing it straight, releasing the following statement from 888.com CEO Mattingley: “We’re excited that 888.com is up and running in New Jersey. As we consider 888 to be the premier gaming site in the Garden State, we thought it was appropriate to align ourselves with other area notables."
"We couldn’t think of a more fitting local athlete than Big Blue’s very own number 88, Hakeem Nicks. We are also aware that Hakeem’s contract is up, so we hope that he sees this as a gesture to stay and as an opportunity to benefit a local charity that he supports."
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