There are plenty of reasons that someone might decide to get a tattoo – but typically it's a very personal decision. For Australian athlete Victoria Mitchell, her skin is a means for financing her next big goal. Runner's World reported that the former NCAA champion aims to raise up to $30,000 to fund her training leading up to the 2016 Olympics. So how exactly is she going to reach this objective? She is offering to get an ankle tattoo of any symbol or logo that the sponsor chooses.
Mitchell is running her campaign on StarStadium, which is a crowdfunding site designed specifically for athletes who are looking to find potential donors and supporters. Over the next month alone, she's hoping to raise $10,000. Each amount will garner different rewards. While you'll get a social media "thank you" for pledging $25, $100 will grant you a one-on-one coaching session on enhancing your running form. A generous pledge of $10,000 will let you choose what color she dyes her hair when she runs in the Commonwealth Games. However, for the right company, Mitchell's ankle could prove to be valuable advertising space.
There's just one problem. Currently, the International Association of Athletics Federations rules do not allow athletes to display tattoos for advertising purposes. Though the 2016 Olympics are still a couple years away, if the rules don't change by then, Mitchell would have to cover the tattoo. Alternatively, if she has tattoo regret before or after the Olympics are over, she would have the option of removing it altogether.
This isn't the first time an athlete staged such a campaign. In 2012, American Olympian Nick Symmonds auctioned off his shoulder space on eBay for a tattoo, and was able to rake in $11,000. In return, his shoulder would be used as a marketing tool for Hanson Dodge Creative, a brand design and advertising company. However, the IAAF rule prohibited him from showing the tattoo. Symmonds outwardly expressed his resistance to the strict rule, but had no success in changing it. While competing in the Olympics in the summer of 2012, he had to place tape over his tattoo in order to adhere to the IAAF guidelines and sponsorship rules of the International Olympic Committee, according to Oregon Live.
So what does this mean for aspiring Olympians with logo or brand tattoos? With no changes in sight to the IAAF rule, they may have to begin considering tattoo removal methods, unless they are able to successfully cover their ink up.
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* Source: Harris Interactive, 2012