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Beckham Ball Scores For Charity

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Richard Rowe - CEO Golden PalaceSeptember 5, 2004, Warsaw, POLAND -- Only a few weeks ago, made headlines worldwide by winning the eBay auction for The Beckham Ball, and announcing plans to use The Ball to raise money for charities worldwide.

The online casino has already launched the first phase of The Ball's tour around the globe, helping to raise approximately $160,000 for charity at a Polish football match last Friday. And further post-event activity is likely bringing this sum even higher!

The Ball was famously sent rocketing over the crossbar by David Beckham during England's playoff loss in the Euro 2004 tournament, dashing the country's hopes of winning a world title. It landed in the arms of a fan who auctioned it on eBay. The Ball was eventually purchased by for £28,000.00 (approx. USD $35,000).

The online casino is raising money for charity by allowing people worldwide the opportunity to do what Beckham couldn't; score a goal in penalty shoot-out style competitions.

TVN Poland, one of the bigger commercial stations in the country, set up a charity football promotion which included the entertaining Beckham Ball Shoot-Out to raise money for the University Hospital for Children, in Krakow.

The match involved the two best Polish football teams, Warsaw Legia and Wisla Krakow. The Ball was used at the start of the match for about five minutes before it was substituted with a replacement ball. The Golden Palace Beckham Ball Shoot-Out took place during the halftime intermission of the match, which had been heavily promoted over the past week throughout Poland.

In order to enter the penalty shoot-out style competition, participants sent a SMS text message, which was charged the equivalent of $0.25 cents per call. The money generated by the SMS messaging will be given to charity. Three of the entrants were selected to take part in the penalty shoot-out. Some 300,000 SMS calls were recorded in support of the event.

Poland's population of over 38 million greeted the contest with phenomenal public response. The stadium was a complete sell-out, making Friday's event an overwhelming success. A young polish man, a 'soccer novice', won the penalty shoot-out which was broadcast live on Polish television countrywide. During the post-event reception, Golden Palace CEO Richard Rowe presented the charity with a cheque for an additional $25,000, and was clearly delighted with The Ball's tour lift off. Hospital director, Maciej Kowalczyk, personally thanked Rowe for the contribution. Kowalczyk was overwhelmed, as this was the very first time a commercial company has made a personal contribution to his hospital.

Subsequent stops on The Ball's tour schedule include a similar penalty shoot-out style event in the UK. It will then travel across the Atlantic to Canada where it will soar 100 kilometers above the earth into sub-orbital Space. The spaceflight is part of the Ansari X Prize competition. provided the necessary funding to complete The Space Program: powered by the da Vinci Project.

'We're very excited about bringing The Ball on tour around the world, especially our trip into Space,' said Rowe. 'We would like to continue raising significant sums of money for charity, as we have been doing for quite some time with other promotions.'

The final match score was 4:0 to Warsaw Legia.

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