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Betting billionaire wants to make Ayr United everyone's 'second team'

Ayr United could become the second-best supported team in the world if Bodog founder Calvin Ayre gets his way.

The internet betting billionaire announced his plans as Bodog were unveiled as Ayr United's shirt sponsor for the 2011/212 campaign.

"My father told me when I was a kid that my ancestors came from here [Ayrshire]," Ayre said as the deal was announced at a press conference.

"I researched the history of Ayr before I had even heard of the club. "I have seen videos of Ayr playing on the internet. There are no secrets these days – everything is out there.

"The idea of the sponsorship is to help Ayr with their plans and promote the club. I want to make the football club known inter­nati­onally.

"I think we have the right kit. It's some of the best shirts I have seen anywhere in the world. They are genuinely nice.

"The feedback from announcing the deal has been amazing. I've had 50 Ayr fans a day signing up to my facebook page."

Bodog aim to tap into the huge far eastern market for more support for Ayr United via a website which aims to promote the Scottish club as everyone's second team.

Bodog's PR guru Ed Pownall has been stunned by the interest in Ayr United, before the website has even been launched.

He said: "We are very excited about the concept of Ayr becoming people's second team and that can only grow and grow. To people outside of Europe, to people outside of English speaking countries.

"We have a lot of presence in Asia and the viewing figures and following for football there just blows your head off compared to anything in Europe or anywhere else.

"That's what we are going to try and build for Ayr United and it has already been too successful and beaten its target.

"The launch is now so we are quite confused as to how that has happened.

"Figures in Asia are eye watering and if we can bring a fraction of that interest over here it will be job well done for everybody.

"They love their football and not just the Premiership. We can make Ayr United the team to follow."

Matt Morris

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