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A football-free zone

As you are no doubt aware, the FIFA World Cup is about to kick off – quite literally – in South Africa. The South African authorities are reportedly expecting some 40,000 prostitutes to travel in for the event. This sounds reasonable. After most matches there will be delight for the winners and despondency for the losers, and in either case a ‘treat’ of some kind may be in order.

But you don’t have to go to South Africa to be swept up by the World Cup; billions of people all around the world will be watching the events unfold on television. This will inevitably put a strain on some relationships. Indeed, a survey by an online divorce company has found that 10% of people have ended relationships because of football, and 11% of people expect the World Cup to adversely affect their existing relationship.

The survey, which was carried out on a sample of 1,701 UK adults by divorce-online.co.uk during April 2010, also revealed that, “14% of men agree that football will more important than their partner” during the World Cup, and 25% of men believe that TV viewing will revolve around the tournament.

Adult retailers are in a good position to exploit the opportunity the tournament presents. They can get into the swing of it by dressing up their mannequins in sexy football outfits (like this raunchy little number from Orion) and running initiatives like Nice ‘n’ Naughty (see elsewhere on this site) or – and for female-oriented stores this is probably the better route – they can turn their stores into football-free zones. A lot of the initial games involving the big teams kick off at 7.30 in the evening, which could be a good time to stage a ‘ladies night’ in-store. It might sound shockingly sexist but, in a lot of cases, she’ll be glad to get out of the house and he’ll be glad to see her go.

The enterprising retailer could print mock match tickets in advance of the event and distribute them among other female-focused businesses, such as hairdressers and nail bars, as well as their own customers. If the ladies nights start at 7.30, the same time as the matches kick off, it should allow plenty of time to prepare the shop with the wine, nibbles and products to demonstrate.

If you decide to run such an evening during the World Cup, please let us know how you get on.

Industry football lovers will be relieved to hear that no matches are scheduled for the 4th or 5th of July when the ETO Show takes place at the NEC, Birmingham. The ETO Show is the UK’s only dedicated trade event for the adult industry and it allows retailers, online traders and party planners to source new products, discover new suppliers, socialise with their existing ones, get additional discounts for orders placed at the show and even come home with something for nothing (see preview in the June issue of ETO). It’s also staged at a convenient time (Sunday, for those who don’t want to lose a day’s trading, and Monday, for those who don’t want to give up their weekend), in a convenient place and best of all it’s completely free of charge. Even if you’ve attended every previous ETO Show, you’ll see plenty of new lines this year as a whopping 40% of exhibitors are taking stands for the very first time.

Finally, can I remind you that voting for the 2010 ETO Adult Industry Awards closes on 11th June? Please take a few minutes to choose your favourites from this year’s finalists at www.erotictradeonly.com

See you at the ETO Show.