ESPN has found a new sponsor for the St. Petersburg Bowl, jettisoning Beef O'Brady's in favor of...wait for it...Bitcoin. Yes, there is going to be a college bowl game next year that will be sponsored by the made-up crypto-currency that your annoying libertarian cousin won't shut up about.
Here's the scoop, from Gigaom:
ESPN Events is expected to announce today that the cryptocurrency will star in the new Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl, thanks to a three-year sponsorship from payment services provider BitPay. Bitcoin holders can use the currency to purchase tickets and concessions at the game.
Some retired Floridian is going to be at this game, and he's going to be asked if he would like to pay in Bitcoin when he tries to buy a beer at the concession stand, and his brain is going to melt.
What's really interesting about this news, though, is who exactly is paying ESPN for the sponsorship rights. The money is coming from BitPay, a Bitcoin brokerage startup that's recently gotten millions of dollars in venture capital funding. The CEO of BitPay is a man named Tony Gallippi, and he used to own a website, Soopermodels.com, that was known for posting sexy modeling pictures of underage girls.
From our pals at Valleywag:
Although the Soopermodels site is no longer functional, archived versions of the site as far back as 2002 feature a glamour model called "Bobbi Jo," whose year of birth is listed as 1989. That would have made her 13 years old. Although neither Bobbi Jo nor any of the other underage Soopermodels appeared nude, almost every shot is unsubtly sexualized, dressed and styled to look older, with clearly cited measurements to go along with the pictures.
ESPN has just struck a lucrative sponsorship deal with a guy whose first internet venture was based on taking creepy pictures of young girls and then posting them on the internet, all in service of a product that as far as we can tell is mainly useful for international con artists, arms dealers, and human traffickers. Good work.