Sex shop ice rink sponsor causes curling controversy
The Olympic curling qualifying tournament in Leeuwarden got off to a rocky start. Several countries were apparently surprised that one of the Elfstedenhal's sponsors is an online sex toy shop. And they now have concerns about broadcasting images of the tournament because Easy Toys' logo is visible on the ice rink, just like the names of the other sponsors, Omrop Fryslan reports.
The organizers are surprised by the commotion. "We made clear agreements with the World Curling Federation," said Dagmar van Stiphout, project manager of the tournament in Leeuwarden. "They know who our partners are, and we have permission. We have acted very carefully. Now we have found out that several broadcasting partners feel that they cannot broadcast the matches."
Easy Toys' logo can be seen when filming above the ice, Klaas Siderius, director of ice rink the Elfstedenhal, said to the regional broadcaster. "Some countries, such as Japan and the United States, may find that a bit stressful. They should have known in advance, but there was suddenly unrest on Friday night. We are happy about it; now, the rest of the Netherlands also knows that Leeuwarden has an ice rink. But it's less fun for the federation because if countries don't broadcast it, they miss revenue. That's millions."
A spokesperson for Easy Toys called it a shame that its sponsorship is again causing a commotion, referring to last year when the KNVB initially banned the store's name from appearing on FC Emmen shirts. "We are surprised, said the spokesperson. "We are a neat company, and we think that curling is a great sport to which we like to associate our name. At the moment, we are waiting for the developments."
The qualifying tournament is from December 5 to 18.