Aug 10, 2011

When you’re playing beach volleyball, there isn’t exactly a lot of space for advertising on your uniform.

Still, that won’t stop UK beach volleyballers Zara Dampney and Shauna Mullin from making the most out of the situation. The two Olympic hopefuls — ranked 26th in the world — have signed what is believed to be a five figure marketing deal with the UK-based betting firm, Betfair, to place matrix barcodes on their bikini bottoms. The Quick Response (QR) codes, when photographed with a smart phone, take the picture taker to a specific website, upon which they hopefully purchase a product, take part in a survey, or whatever else the marketer desires.

The campaign is seemingly taking advantage of advertising space some beach volleyball spectators may already notice…even without the barcodes.

Betfair’s head of UK Sports & Marketing PR, Andy Lulham,

“There is huge interest in beach volleyball and we want to ensure that our advertising campaign is seen and remembered by as many sports fans as possible.

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.” (The Telegraph)

The “barcode bikinis” were set to be unveiled at the London 2012 beach volleyball tournament, taking place at Horse Guards Parade August 9-14. Yesterday, all of the evening matches were moved to earlier in the day amidst security concerns. It is currently unknown whether or not the matches for the rest of the week will be disrupted as well.

Neither Dampney or Mullin will be allowed to wear the barcoded bikinis during the actual Olympic Games, as any branding other than manufacturers logos is disallowed during the event. (via SportsBusinessDaily)

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