A brand new trophy has been revealed ahead of the Paddy Power World Darts Championship at the Alexandra Palace – the Ballon d’Art.
The prestigious Sid Waddell Trophy will of course remain the supreme accolade for the tournament’s eventual champion, but the lads in the art department have created an additional mammoth trophy for the player who scores the most 180s during the showpiece event.
The new award, probably the biggest darts trophy on the planet, is the latest addition to THE BIG 180 Campaign, which will see Paddy Power donate £1,000 to Prostate Cancer UK for every maximum scored during the 2024 World Darts Championship.
Standing at almost one metre in height and weighing in at 16kgs, the Ballon d’Art will celebrate the player who raises the most money for the charity, which also aims to encourage 180,000 men across the UK to complete Prostate Cancer UK’s online risk checker here.
Whoever hits the most 180s at Ally Pally will receive the Ballon d’Art trophy.
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) December 4, 2023
One in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, which is curable if caught early. The objective of THE BIG 180 campaign is to drive awareness, encourage men to use the simple online Risk Checker, and force Paddy Power to cough up a potentially transformative sum of £1MILLION to Prostate Cancer UK.
Football has the Ballon d’Or, so it’s only right that darts has the Ballon d’Art
Michael Smith (pictured, below), who famously produced a stunning nine-darter in the World Championship final 12 months ago and hit more maximums (66) than anyone else in the 2023 World Championship, said: “We don’t need much encouragement when it comes to scoring 180s at the World Championship, but to know each one will trigger a £1,000 donation to Prostate Cancer UK is another fantastic incentive for us.
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“Prostate cancer has never been on my radar, but hearing the disease affects one in eight men is a shocking statistic. Men need to be more aware of their risk of prostate cancer, and I include myself in that, as if caught early it’s curable.
“If we can help raise money and awareness of Prostate Cancer UK’s online risk checker tool to save lives that will be amazing.”
With 901 maximums scored during last year’s tournament, it is hoped that record will be smashed at this year’s event, resulting in a transformative sum for the charity that will ultimately save lives.
Prostate Cancer UK Chief Executive Laura Kerby said: “We are thrilled to become the official charity partner of the Paddy Power World Darts Championship and thank Paddy Power and the PDC for uniting the darts community as we target this disease head on.
“This iconic tournament is a sporting staple across the festive period, and THE BIG 180 will put us at the heart of the action. The Ballon d’Art will celebrate the darts player who raises the most money for Prostate Cancer UK via THE BIG 180 campaign one maximum at time.”
All money raised throughout the Paddy Power World Darts Championship will fund lifesaving research to diagnose men sooner and improve the lives of men affected by the most common cancer in men.
“Prostate cancer is curable if caught early, but early-stage prostate cancer often has no symptoms, so it is vital that men know their risk – and we hope 180,000 fans will do that during the tournament via our simple online risk checker,” Kerby added.
Carla Regan, spokesperson for leading British contemporary trophy manufacturer EFX, admitted: “This is the biggest award we have ever made, with the largest flight case too!
“We have been commissioned to make many high-profile awards for major client events like the British Grand Prix, Formula E Racing & PokerStars globally, as well as other trophies for the PDC, but we have got to say we have enjoyed the design process and the production challenges to create this mega Ballon d’Art trophy.”
The base is oak with 24 carat gold plated Aluminium plated to the top and bottom. The piece features an acrylic printed plate of the treble 20 section of a dartboard, while the stem of the darts are 24 carat gold plated machined aluminium, while the flights at the top were 3D printed and sprayed gold.
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