Taking its cues from Zumba classes in Kennebunk, a Greek soccer team is now partly paid for by prostitution. The amateur team Voukefalas will wear practice jerseys emblazoned with the logos of two local brothels, "Villa Erotica" and "Soula's House of History."
"Unfortunately, amateur football has been abandoned by almost everyone," said Yiannis Batziolas, the club's youthful chairman, who runs a travel agency and is the team's backup goalkeeper. "It's a question of survival."
She watched quietly, holding a cigarette and wearing a straw fedora with a leopard print band, as her team struggled.
"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."
Which is true, especially in Greece where prostitution is legal. And even Mitt Romney, he of the ceaseless naysaying about countries like Greece and Spain, would probably admire Alveridou's patriotic approach to sponsorship, except for the part where she talks about keeping money in the country.
"If we don't help our scientists and athletes, where will we be?" she asked. "Greece has educated people, cultured people and good athletes. It's better to help them than take our money to Switzerland."
"Here is where it all begins, with amateur sport. It's where the talent is bred," she noted. "I am a Greek woman, and I love my country."
Clearly. She's also taken on a role as a sort of team general manager.
"There's a lot still missing. We have no midfield," said Alevridou, a slightly built woman with a husky voice. "Many of our boys have jobs that keep them working at night. And if we have a game the following morning, they can't have a real presence on the pitch. ... They need more help."
Voukefalas is on a bit of a losing streak, but Alveridou is offering extra incentive to the team: each time they win, the players get "special time" at one of her brothels.
[Image via AP]