Just one day after Tron CEO Justin Sun appeared to misinterpret an informal letter sent to him by Liverpool Football Club as an invitation to forge an “official partnership,” Bitcoin SV-backer CoinGeek has “announced” its own actual sponsorship of Ayr United, a fringe Scottish football club that nobody cares about.
To be clear, Ayr’s is not a wholly new deal—Calvin Ayre, Bitcoin SV’s billionaire backer, is a longtime sponsor of the eponymous, mid-tier Scottish league club, and the new sponsorship is just a continuation of that. Until 2018, Ayre’s gambling site, Bodog, funded the club, then his cryptocurrency “news” website CoinGeek was its backer.
There are some ominous details worth exploring. First, though CoinGeek will still ostensibly be the club’s “backer,” Ayr players will be forced to play with the Bitcoin SV logo “physically branded” on their shirts.
“The club shirt will be physically branded as Bitcoin SV, the original Bitcoin and the only coin with a blockchain that scales now to allow for thousands of transactions per second,” said the press release. Instant transactions and mass adoption for the one, true Bitcoin—that’ll get the provincial, raggedy old Scotsmen who follow Ayr F.C. salivating!
Here’s a rough estimation, based on last year’s Bitcoin Cash branding, of what the top could look like:
We have a winner for the football kit design contest! Congratulations to @mwaura_jordan for stunning design and for bagging $250 contest prize!#BCHforeveryone #BitcoinCash #BCHAfricaStartUP pic.twitter.com/o9iszyV9fK
— Bitcoin Cash (BCHSV) Kenya (@BitcoinCashKE) June 3, 2018
Also there might be some, er, models with the logo branded on their naked bodies...? Try and make sense of this bewildering paragraph: “As with last year, the new strip is bodypainted on male and female professional models Charis Lister and Mikael Angesjo who are also paid in Bitcoin SV as were all involved in the photoshoot.” Bitcoin SV’s exchange value is $52 and declining, after it was delisted by several major exchanges last week.
(We reached out to Lister via her Instagram to verify if she really did accept payment in Bitcoin SV, rather than that disreputable shitcoin GBP, and have yet to hear a response.)
It turns out Ayre’s pet team does the painted-logo thing regularly. Every time it unveils a new kit, it seems, Ayr F.C. has some poor model paint it directly onto her body. “Breast kit ever! Ayr United's latest strip set to be hit among fans (the male ones anyway),” purred this typically vile Daily Mail article all the way back in 2012. The Scottish Sun surfaced another Ayre-inflicted body-paint catastrophe in 2017.
Aside from yesterday’s debacle, there have been many intersections between football and cryptocurrency. Premier League team Arsenal, for instance, struck a sponsorship deal with ICO “Cashbet” in early 2018. It went the way of most ICOs: the Cashbet cryptocurrency plunged, from a market cap of $18 million, to $2 million within months.
Yet like a huddle of walruses tragically leaping from a rocky precipice, others continue to emerge: hot on the heels of yesterday’s news, a spokesman for cryptocurrency Socios reached out to Decrypt with news that his own company had last year formed a legitimate relationship with Juventus, a legendary Italian team (as well as French team Paris Saint-Germain). Juventus confirmed the deal on its own website, so we’re not casting shade—it’s just...interesting.
Ayr F.C., which appears to have one employee across all of its landlines, was unavailable for comment.
Additional reporting (well, googling) from David Gerard.