Former Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid manager José Mourinho has joined the Paddy Power team. The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ has joined the bookmaker as their ‘Games Ambassador’ in order to help them push the games side of their business. Currently unemployed as far as his football management career is concerned, the Portuguese boss is mixing things up by spending some of his time in the Sky Sports studio playing the part of a pundit and some of it making adverts for the Irish bookie.
The advert focusses on Mourinho’s nickname of ‘The Special One’, suggesting to viewers that they too could be special if they were to play some of the games on Paddy Power’s site because there are large jackpots that must be won on certain games every day, meaning that José didn’t ‘win’ just because he’s special. The advert pokes fun at moments in the Portuguese manage’s career, including how he recently finished second with Manchester United after winning titles in his previous managerial stints. As well as being an amusing advert, it’s populated with numerous ‘Easter eggs’ for people who know about his history.
Why ‘The Special One’?
For those with only a passing interest in football, the reference to José Mourinho being ‘The Special One’ might well have passed them by. When the Portuguese boss took over from Claudio Ranieri as Chelsea manager in June of 2004 he arrived on the scene like a breath of fresh air to many. Having won the Champions League unexpectedly with Porto that year, he had earned a reputation as a talented young manager who knew how to get the most out of his players. His mix of arrogance and brashness was a bit of a shock to the system, but he gave the British press exactly what they wanted in terms of headlines and stories.
That was evident from his very first press conference, when he said, “Please don’t call me arrogant, but I’m European champion and I think I’m a special one”. It wasn’t difficult for the assembled journalists to figure out what their nickname for him was going to be from that point on, with newspapers the following day plastered with a headline of ‘The Special One’. His career has been littered with successes, whether that be at Stamford Bridge, Spanish side Real Madrid or the Italian club Internazionale. He’s won titles virtually everywhere he’s managed, so it’s hardly shocking that he has such a high opinion of himself. Many people think he’s lost his lustre in recent years, but he continues to be box office.
The Advert’s Self-Referential Moments
José Mourinho has always been full of charisma, with looks that make him the old stereotype of being ‘the housewife’s favourite’. In the new advert for Paddy Power the former Chelsea boss proves that he’s got a sense of humour too, constantly poking fun at the headline grabbing moments from throughout his career. The advert begins with Mourinho declaring, “It’s not easy being special”. It then goes on to take you around the manager’s ‘house’, complete with a picture of him on the wall from the day he was Chelsea manager and beat Manchester United at Old Trafford. The eagle-eyed viewer can also spot a bust of his former player, Zlatan Ibrahimovic on a cabinet as well as some Russian dolls, a likely nod to Chelsea’s owner Roman Abramovich.
In another room you can see a selection of the ‘books’ that Mourinho’s apparently been reading, including ‘The Voyeur’ and ‘Le Specialiste En Failure’; both references to comments that Mourinho said about his rival and the former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. From an ‘I love JT’ magnet in the kitchen, with John Terry being his captain whilst he was Chelsea manager, through to the doorbell tone that is in the style of the song that supporters used to sing about him, the advert is full of special nods to Mourinho’s past behaviours. There’s even a red bus on a shelf, which is a reference to the manager’s notoriously defensive tactics that result in him being accused of ‘parking the bus’ by putting so many defenders behind the ball.
What It Means For Paddy Power
The decision by Paddy Power to bring José Mourinho on-board as a brand ambassador for the games section of the website comes hot on the heels of rival company 10bet deciding to employ former Chelsea striker and Mourinho stalwart Didier Drogba as their global ambassador. It suggests that betting companies are feeling the need to have a well-known face to promote their wares, with Paddy Power perhaps hoping to persuade sportsbook users that might not ordinarily give the games section of the site a second look to spend a bit of time finding out what it’s about. It’s a clever way of gaining a new load of players, if that’s what they’re going for.
The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ is not someone that you would associated with mediocrity, with even his time in charge of Manchester United, which has been seen as disappointing by most in the sport, resulting in him getting the Red Devils to finish higher in the league than any other manager since Sir Alex Ferguson. Given his propensity for perfection, you can’t imagine that he’s decided to join Paddy Power just for something to do. He’ll be as keen to see the Irish bookmakers do well on the back of signing him as any of his football teams, so don’t be surprised if he appears in more adverts between now and his return to management. The company said themselves that he was writing his own script when filming the ad!