SBD/August 9, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

U.K. Volleyball Players Will Don Bikinis With Barcode On Their Bums In New Betfair Deal

The barcode when scanned by a smartphone brings consumers to Betfair's website
U.K. female beach volleyball players Shauna Mullin and Zara Dampney are “renting out their bikinis in an advertising deal that encourages spectators to photograph their behinds,” according to the London TELEGRAPH. The QR code when photographed on a smartphone “takes the user to a specific website -- which will be printed on the back of their bikini bottoms to ensure it catches the eye of spectators.” It is part of a sponsorship deal Dampney and Mullin signed "with the betting firm Betfair.” Betfair Head of UK Sports & Marketing PR Andy Lulham said, "As far as we're aware this is the first time QR codes have been used in in-play sports advertising and what better way to test its effectiveness than by putting them on one of the places that is likely to get photographed the most" (TELEGRAPH.co.uk, 8/8). Dampney and Mullin, who are attempting to qualify for the '12 London Games, are “believed to have been paid a substantial five figure sum” by Betfair for the sponsorship. Dampney and Mullin will sport the graphic at pre-Olympic test matches at Horse Guards Parade this weekend in London. The barcoded kit “will not be displayed during matches played” at the London Games, though, as any branding “other than simple manufacturers' logos is not allowed” (DAILYMAIL.co.uk, 8/8). The deal comes after Australian beach volleyball player Claire Kelly earlier this summer attempted to have a corporation buy tattoo space on her body as a way to raise funds in her effort to qualify for the Olympics. Kelly rescinded her offer after a governing body persuaded her otherwise (THE DAILY).
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