The Landshut Cannibals are a team in the 2nd Eishockey-Bundesliga, German professional hockey's second-tier league. It's the league in which Chris Stewart of the St. Louis Blues and Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers have arranged to spend the lockout.
But the influx of two NHLers is hardly the most interesting thing going on there right now.
This is Landshut's warm-up jersey. That's the Cannibals' logo in the bottom left corner. The logo in the middle -- a pair of pouty red lips bordered by the phrase, "The world could be this sexy" -- belongs to the team's sponsor.
Lustra, a local brothel.
The deal, which was announced on Sept. 15, is earning the Cannibals 5,000 euros per season. It's also earning them a great deal of attention, as you might imagine. After all, some find prostitution... unsavory.
In real life, as on the ice, there are penalties for hooking and in this case, it meant the loss of a sponsor. German clothing company Wöhrl had agreed to a deal with the Cannibals just two days before Lustra's deal was announced. They were mortified to learn they would be sharing the team with a bordello and backed out of the agreement immediately.
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But the Cannibals are undeterred. The partnership has generated a great deal of buzz around the franchise, which is exactly what they anticipated when they approached Lustra in the first place.
(Maybe other teams should be this creative with their marketing. Have the Phoenix Coyotes tried partnering with an affiliate of the Bunny Ranch yet?)
Furthermore, according to team spokesman Jürgen Eichbauer prostitution isn't so bad anyway. From English-language German news site The Local:
The Cannibals had less concern about any threat to their image, said Eichbauer.
He told the Süddeutsche Zeitung, "The operators of the brothel are legal people who do their business honestly and pay taxes. No wild-west methods are used, and the women are not forced. Prostitution is the oldest business in the world and therefore the cooperation is not objectionable to us."
He's right about the women. They have quite a bit of freedom. According to Lustra's website, they set their own hours and prices, although they have agreed to minimum prices for standard services -- a cap floor, if you will.
But they probably call it an entry-level contract.
(Their website also features a helpful "Sexlexikon", in case you aren't quite sure how to ask for that thing you're into.)
Another reason Eichbauer and company might not find the arrangement objectionable: they have a close connection to Lustra. Peter Baumgartner, the son of the brothel's owner, used to play for them. Now he plays for the Hannover Scorpions in the first-tier.
Buamgartner isn't ashamed of his mom's line of work. In fact, this isn't the first time that their careers have crossed paths. Before they were the exclusive brothel of the Landshut Cannibals, Lustra sponsored the formation of Baumgartner's inline hockey team.
Baumgartner is No. 6, second from the left in the top row.
The team, simply named "Lustra", was founded this summer and stacked with professional German hockey players, which meant they could compete with the reigning-champion Bionicles, who were just as stacked.
The match between the two teams, which took place early when they were placed in the same group during the round robin phrase, was a high-profile affair that even drew officials from the German Ice Hockey Federation. Lustra won, they ran through the rest of the tournament, eventually defeating a team named the Multiple Scoregasms in the final.
I wonder who their sponsor was.
s/t to Matias Strozyk.
Follow Harrison Mooney on Twitter at @HarrisonMooney
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