Wayne Rooney is spearheading a campaign to encourage responsible gambling.
The former Manchester United and England captain, now with Derby, appears in a video along with boxer Carl Frampton and jockey Paddy Brennan.
Derby sponsors 32Red have released the video as part of their ongoing commitment to encourage responsible gambling, with Rooney at the forefront of the move.
In the minute-long video, Rooney, 34, who has been open about his own gambling issues in the past, looks straight into the camera and says: "Do you gamble responsibly?", as well as encouraging gamblers to "set limits on your play" and "how long you play for".
Neil Banbury, 32Red managing director, said it was vital to have someone with Rooney's profile and global reach to deliver and get across such an important message.
“For most people, football is the main passion point,” said Banbury. “That gives us an opportunity to connect with that audience.
“If it's Wayne talking in the video and he also pushes it out through his channels, that reaches far more people and they're more likely to listen, than if it was just a TV ad with a voiceover.”
Derby came in for criticism for the signing of Rooney last August in a deal that saw the forward wear No.32, with 32Red increasing the value of their deal as the team's principal shirt sponsor on the back of it.
Both Derby and 32Red were accused of sending out the wrong message with the mechanics of the deal, but Banbury said having someone with Rooney's profile brought with it a multitude of benefits, not least for the local community.
“One of the things we've worked on with Derby and invested in is a scheme in their community, which is called Team Talk, a space where men with mild mental health issues can go,” said Banbury.
“There's a games room, where they can play pool and FIFA, and of course there's the other, more serious, discussion aspect on the back of it.
“That was already in place in Derby and we helped them scale it up to reach more people. When Frank Lampard was Derby manager, he went along to sessions and it helped raised the profile.
“Wayne visited there at Christmas and, when you get people like Frank and Wayne involved, it's such a big enabler for people to be able to see they can talk about things and not keep them bottled up.
“Whatever the message is, whether it's mental health-related or about healthier gambling behaviour, it comes across much better when you've got big names involved.”
An online casino company, 32Red have a stated long-term commitment to responsible gambling, borne out by the latest video featuring Rooney.
“From our perspective, it's something we put right at the heart of our business model and the way we operate,” said Banbury.
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