December 01, 2011
Always looking for a new way to squeeze money out of their most loyal supporters, football clubs have found a new racket that could soon become common practice -- letting fans pay to have a tiny picture of themselves worn by the player of their choice.
Taking a cue from the Million Dollar Homepage, Sevilla has become the first top-flight football club to sell small squares within each player's number on the back of their shirts featuring a photo of the buyer for €24.90 ($33.35) each.
The idea of a company called Playing 2, Sevilla fans (or anyone else) can go to its website, select the player they want to wear their mug and the exact spot on the number they want to appear for the entire season.
As mentioned, Sevilla are the first team to utilize this money-making scheme and will soon be joined by fellow Spaniards Granada, with the Welsh Rugby Union team set to hand a UK debut to Playing 2 during the Six Nations.
Despite being only a 2 x 2mm picture (yes, that's right, millimetres) Sevilla have reported a positive reaction from fans, commenting "People do seem willing to pay for the chance to be on the back of their idol,"
Clubs will welcome that positive fan reaction, too — as Playing 2 offers a seriously lucrative source of revenue; with 3,142 photos capable of being crammed into a single number, each digit on a player's jersey is potentially worth over 75,000 Euros.
That won't exactly fund the next €50 million transfer, but if your club is in financial trouble, it could help.
As long as fans are willing to pay for this, it seems like a no-brainer for pretty much every club in the world to jump on board. There just better be someone checking these pictures before they get printed onto the players' shirts so no one sneaks a full moon or a rival club's crest on there. Then again, at 2x2mm, no one would notice anyway...
That 14 could be filled with butts.
Bottom photo: Getty
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