tattoos…advertising, or just lame pictures in ink?

April 9, 2006 at 7:34 pm | Posted in becky, misc | 18 Comments

We’ve heard (on here) the discussion about the endless merging of sports and advertising–how the super bowl is no longer about football, but about commercials, and how the NBA views success as marketability rather than how good the athletics actually are. Well, now it’s being taken a step further. A few years ago, I read (or heard) something online (or somewhere) an interview with Dakkan Abbe, president of Fifty Rubies Marketing in New York. He/she had come up with the idea of using basketball players as human billboards, by placing temporary tattoos on their arms. Is it possible that this has already started? I submit that it has. I think a large number of NBA players have already started tattooing themselves as another way to earn the almighty sponsor’s dollar. I have included 5 examples as concrete evidence that should substantiate my argument.

A lot of people assume this is the Kenyon Martin’s kid. Well, it’s not. It’s the Gerber baby. Not the food baby. It’s for another Gerber line–Gerber Childrenswear, Inc. Notice the hat.

This tattoo on Rasheed Wallace is an ad for the King Tut Exhibit. This is a good sponsor to be aligned with. The exhibit has been around for years (centuries), and travels all over the world. Currently it’s showing in Florida, but will be in LA next month.

This skull tattoo of Allen Iverson’s is the new logo for the U.S. Army. In an effort not to look like total pussies next to the Marines, they’ve come up with this new skull logo to look a little more baddass.

You may have seen Mike Bibby’s tattoos and thought he’d joined the Church, but you’d be wrong. He’s actually just the new spokesperson for Deseret Book, who is trying to branch out to a broader market.

This last tat is an advertisement for the muchly anticipated movie Snakes On A Plane starring Samuel L. Jackson, to be released this fall. Initially destined to become a B-movie flop, the film has gained unprecedented internet buzz, which this player (who i don’t know) obviously bought into. Hopefully the buzz will carry the sales of movie paraphernalia before the movie actually comes out (and totally sucks), so this guy’s advertising doesn’t go to waste.

I thought it was bad that I couldn’t look at any inch of an NBA arena without seeing ads, but now I can’t even look at the players without being told what to watch/do/eat/buy/listen to/etc. I blame ESPN.


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  1. i respectfully disagree about rasheed wallace and disrespectfully agree that tattoos are just another form of advertisement.

  2. i read this book once where iverson talked about all his tattoos. but of course tattoos are a form of advertising. iverson is advertising how real he’s keeping it. he’s advertising how repressive the nba is. but i actually believe rasheed wallace got the idea for his tattoo from the book of abraham.

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