Brothels become shirt sponsors for struggling Greek club

Like most everything else in Greece, football clubs have been hit hard by the economic crisis, but one of the world's few recession proof industries has decided to help one open-minded amateur club in Larissa.

From the AP:

Players on a cash-strapped Greek soccer team now wear pink practice jerseys with the logos "Villa Erotica'' and "Soula's House of History,'' two bordellos it recruited as sponsors after drastic government spending cuts left the country's sports clubs facing ruin.

Other teams have also turned to unconventional financing. One has a deal with a local funeral home and others have wooed kebab shops, a jam factory and producers of Greece's trademark feta cheese.

But the amateur Voukefalas club - whose players include pizza delivery guys, students, waiters and a bartender - has raised eyebrows with its flamboyant sponsorship choice.

Owner of Soula's House of History, Soula Alevridou, has paid over €1,000 to put her business' name on Voukefalas' pink shirts, but league organizers are trying to ban the club from wearing them during matches on the grounds that the sponsorship is inappropriate for young fans even though prostitution is legal in Greece. This is a complaint much larger clubs with alcoholic beverage and gambling sponsors have gotten around by keeping the offending logos off the kids sized shirts they sell.

According to the AP, Voukefalas require about €10,000 a year to break even and Alevridou, who believes they need a better midfield, has promised more money. Her decision to sponsor Voukefalas seems to be purely out of a sense of civic duty, though. As she says, her business isn't one that require much advertising.

"It's not the kind of business that needs promotion,'' she said, dressed all in white and flanked by two young women in dark leggings at a recent game. "It's a word-of-mouth kind of thing.''

Voukefalas has lost four straight matches, but Ms. Alevridou promises the players a "special time" at her establishments if they win. I'm assuming that means they would get to play FIFA 13 with the prostitutes.