Gambling Tycoon Inks World’s First Bitcoin Cash Football Sponsorship

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Ayr United, a Scottish League One football club from Ayr, Scotland, has become the first football team in the world to be sponsored by a cryptocurrency. After being sponsored for seven years by the Bodog Casino brand, the football team is now changing its kit to promote Bitcoin’s offshoot cryptocurrency, Bitcoin Cash, although the source of the sponsorship remains the same – controversial gambling tycoon Calvin Ayre.

Sponsored and Paid by Bitcoin Cash

The new sponsorship of “The Honest Man” (nickname for Ayr United) was revealed in an official press release from the team and Calvin Ayre’s gambling portal on Monday, April 16th. According to the release, after seven years of promoting the brand Bodog Casino – which was launched by Ayre – has stepped aside and dropped the team’s sponsorship to make room for Bitcoin Cash to take over.

The deal was made possible through Coin Geek, another brand owned by Ayre, and it was likely the gambling tycoon himself that authorized and inked the deal. Starting with next season, Ayr United will be wearing kits that feature a “Bitcoin BCH” logo, which were once again promoted with a daring photo shoot with a female model and body paint.

Since the Scottish team plays in League 1, which is broadcasted by Sky Sports and BT Sports, the sponsorship is very likely to give Bitcoin Cash an exposure to many sport fans that weren’t familiar with the cryptocurrency.

Per the new deal, the Scottish club will also receive payments in BCH, thus becoming the first club ever to do so. Commercial Director of Ayr United, Graeme Miller, commented on the deal by saying that accepting sponsorship payments in BCH “was a big learning curve” for the management and club but that they are also delighted to be the first to not only take BCH payments but also promote the offshoot cryptocurrency.

Continuing With Controversial Promotions

Having a cryptocurrency sponsor a team could be very beneficial for the entire blockchain sector but is nevertheless a decision that is, well, a bit surprising. However, considering the man behind the deal, one could say it was to be expected.

Ayre, who was once a prominent supporter of Bitcoin and Bitcoin gambling has completely shifted to Bitcoin Cash since its inception and heavily promoted the cryptocurrency. Even in the official press release, one can find comments from Ayre like “BCH really is the only true bitcoin”.  Back in February, the gambling tycoon also announced that he plans to build a $100 million Bitcoin Cash casino resort.

But while his priorities are changing, it seems that his promotional tactics aren’t. When Bodog was the sponsor behind the team, it regularly promoted new kits each year with topless female models who wore body-paint that looked like the new shirt.

It all started in 2011, when the press launch that reveled Ayr United’s partnership with Bodog was attended by body-painted models. But after continuing the “tradition” for five years, Ayr United and Bodog were faced with criticism and potential charges after several complaints were made following the online release of photographs of a body-painted model wearing the team’s colors and the Bodog logo. However, it seems that the sponsor is no more bothered by backlash than it was in 2016.

April 18, 2018: • No Comments

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