By Ken Reed

Nick Symmonds is an obscure 800-meter runner. His big chance at track and field glory will come in the London Olympics. He also realizes that the earning potential associated with his Olympic performance has a small window. Therefore, he decided to auction off body parts for tattoo advertising. For $11,000, a small Milwaukee advertising firm bought the rights to Symmonds’ shoulder. Symmonds agreed to place a temporary tattoo on his shoulder during the Olympic competition.

Symmonds’ action is seen as creative by many, shrewd by others, however, it is against Olympic policy. During the Olympic games, athletes aren’t allowed to appear in ads that do not involve official Olympic advertisers. Symmonds is receiving a lot of support because he clearly owns the right to put tattoo advertising on his body. However, the argument against him is that the Olympics are a voluntary event. Nobody’s forcing Symmonds to run the 800 in the Olympics. As such, he’ll likely have to succumb to Olympic rules if he wants to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games.

Chalk up another strike agains the little guy in our commercialized sports world.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


Comments are closed.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.