Beach-Volleyball Stars Rent Out Bikini Backsides to Advertiser

Here are two QR codes that might not get lost in the shuffle. Zara Dampney and Shauna Mullin, the British champion beach-volleyball players, have struck a five-figure deal to give gambling company Betfair sponsorship rights to their butts. Specifically, the pair will have QR codes on the backs of their bikinis—which will send people to the Betfair website when they take a photo of the players' backsides with a smartphone. The not-at-all-skeevy client rep Andy Lulham explained: "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." This seems like an OK idea—except Dampney and Mullin recently complained about people sexualizing beach volleyball. "Here in England we are still stuck at the stage where people think beach volleyball is about sex, not a sport," said Mullin. (She has a marketing degree and probably just couldn't help herself with the Betfair deal.) Dampney and Mullin will represent England at the London Olympics next summer, but they'll have to restrict their marketing to other events—any form of sponsorship is banned at the games.