Sunak hails 'life-saving' 'THE BIG 180' campaign
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has credited Paddy Power's 'THE BIG 180' campaign with helping to save lives after driving a five-fold increase in the number of men checking their risk of prostate cancer over the past month.
Paddy Power made their debut as new sponsors of the World Darts Championship at London’s iconic Alexandra Palace across the festive period.
Linked to their sponsorship, Paddy Power launched ‘THE BIG 180’ campaign, joining forces with the Professional Darts Corporation to name Prostate Cancer UK as the tournament’s official charity partner.
Their objective: to donate £1,000 for every 180 hit during the Championship, and to use their sponsorship of the event attended by over 90,000 fans and watched by millions to raise awareness of prostate cancer, a disease affecting 1 in 8 men in the UK.
Given early-stage prostate cancer often has no symptoms, they engaged upon a relentless month-long mission to encourage as many male darts fans and followers as possible to use Prostate Cancer UK’s 30-second online risk checker.
Prostate Cancer UK today confirm that a massive 125,317 men have checked their risk of the disease across the campaign’s duration, with over 89,269 (71 per cent) discovering they were at 'high risk.'
Thousands of these men were strongly recommended to book appointments with their GP to talk about their risk and PSA tests meaning potentially hundreds will find their prostate cancer early enough for a cure because of this campaign.
Mr Sunak said: “This year’s World Darts Championship transfixed the nation but the epic finale between the two Lukes wasn’t the only positive result to have emerged from the Ally Pally.
“Paddy Power’s ‘Big 180’ campaign has now chalked up an impressive £1 million for Prostate Cancer UK and has helped to save lives by raising awareness of the need to get checked out.
“I am proud to support the campaign which will help researchers develop better treatments and tests to detect the UK’s most common male cancer earlier.
"It will build on the significant £16million investment the government announced in November to support Prostate Cancer UK's £42million ‘Transform’ trial, which aims to save thousands of men each year by finding the best way to screen for prostate cancer."
Prostate Cancer UK Chief Executive Laura Kerby said: “With £1m raised and incredible and extensive awareness too, we’re thrilled at the success of THE BIG 180 campaign and are hugely grateful to Paddy Power, the PDC and the players for their brilliant efforts bringing it to life.
“1 in 8 men will be affected by this disease, and that’s one statistic that brings home why this campaign was so important.
“These figures are a five-fold increase from this time last year so there’s little doubt that the darts community have played a huge part – and saved lives."
Rachael Kane, spokesperson for Paddy Power added: “We knew we had hit the bullseye in our sponsorship of this year’s first ever Paddy Power World Darts Championship. The stars aligned to make it the biggest and most exciting yet. But knowing that our Big 180 campaign has had this level of impact puts it all into context.”
Luke Humphries defeated Luke Littler 7-4 in the World Darts Championship final to take the Sid Waddell Trophy on January 3.
Humphries also walked away with the new Ballon d'Art trophy commissioned by Paddy Power and awarded to the player who hit the most 180s and raised the most money for Prostate Cancer UK.
Having been personally responsible for raising £73,000 of the £1m donation, the award meant even more for Humphries, whose partner's dad has recently been diagnosed with the disease.
Humphries also graciously pledged to make his own donation privately to the cause.
“My father-in-law has battled prostate cancer. He got it checked out early, so this is a close thing to my heart,” he said.
In all, 914 maximums were hit during the World Championship – equating to a £914,000 donation from Paddy Power. But the firm announced they would round their donation up to £1m.
All money raised and donated by Paddy Power via THE BIG 180 campaign will fund lifesaving research to diagnose men sooner and improve the lives of those affected by the most common cancer in men.
It takes 30 seconds to answer three questions to check your prostate cancer risk. Do it now by clicking on the following link: prostatecanceruk.org/180-risk