SBD/July 5, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

U.S. Olympian Symmonds Wears Temporary Tattoo For Sponsorship

Symmonds (c) wears white tape over the @HansonDodge tattoo each time he runs
Milwaukee-based advertising and design firm Hanson Dodge Creative “spent $11,100 to perch on the shoulder of an Olympic athlete,” placing a temporary tattoo on runner Nick Symmonds, according to Stuart Elliott of the N.Y. TIMES. Symmonds, who was “selling the right to affix a Twitter handle to his left shoulder,” was trying to "make a point about what he has described as the outdated policies governing athletes’ endorsements that are enforced by organizations like USA Track and Field.” He wears “white tape over the @HansonDodge tattoo each time he runs -- it is visible the rest of the time -- to draw attention to the policies that prohibit sponsor logos and branding from being displayed.” Symmonds and Hanson Dodge since the auction have “developed a wide-ranging relationship.” The agency named him “to its active-lifestyle advisory board, and it redesigned his Web site,” Symmonds also “makes appearances in a Web series for the agency, which can be watched on, and YouTube.” He said that the attention the sponsorship has brought the agency “has far exceeded its $11,100 investment.” Symmonds said, “You’re never going to find a better cpm.” Hanson Dodge President for Strategy & Growth Sara Meaney said the agency decided that trying to submit the winning bid would be “a way to make a splash.” With Symmonds set to compete for the U.S. in the 800 meters for the London Games, he and Hanson Dodge are “poring over regulations that affect the ad work of Olympic athletes” (N.Y. TIMES, 7/5).
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