Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has been playing a lot of hockey this offseason, but he also got to work off the ice. And, on his list of activities this offseason, he worked a day as a call center operator in Moscow.
Ovechkin worked the phones for Fonbet, the largest sports betting company in Russia. When some customers register, they don’t make a deposit, and the call center gets in touch to arrange payment. So, the company decided to have Ovechkin reach out to customers and offer them a bonus along with the deposit.
Through WhatsApp, Fonbet reached out to customers and told them there would be a bonus, and set up video chats. There, the Great 8 made the calls.
“If [Ovechkin] likes something, it turns on 100 percent. Alex is real charismatic, cheerful… you just need to consult, coordinate, ask him,” Alina Yakirevich, the marketing director of Fonbet, said on the “Sports on Air” podcast (via sports.ru) adding, “We thought, what if Ovechkin calls [Fonbet customers]?”
The company then set up a workspace for the Capitals star, where he personally made calls and followed a script. Of course, it didn’t take long for the best European goal scorer in NHL history to go off book. And, in classic Ovi fashion, he let his personality shine through.
“We wanted an original, real reaction, so Ovechkin called himself,” Yakirevich noted.
Ovechkin then offered them a choice between a meet and greet with himself or 250,000 Russian rubles.
“He listed to the answers. One girl said, ‘I’ll probably choose the money because [my boyfriend] won’t let me.’ And the the guy gets into the frame,” Yakirevich said.
And, despite Ovechkin’s prominence in his native Moscow, not everyone recognized him. In fact, one customer sweared, per Yakirevich.
“Many people said, ‘It’s some kind of hockey player,'” Yakirevich said. “Ovechkin was very real and cheerful… we want to edit a video from this and even make an autodial with Ovechkin’s voice.”