Olympic Athlete Nick Symmonds Auctions Off Ad Space… On His Shoulder

Olympic Athlete Nick Symmonds Auctions Off Ad Space… On His Shoulder

American Olympian Nick Symmonds has jumped on eBay to auction off nine inches of ad space on his right shoulder.

Hannah Edensor
Posted by Hannah Edensor

Symmonds has guaranteed he will ink the winner’s logo, URL, or social media handle on his shoulder in the form of a temporary tattoo, with the space available for the remainder of the 2016 track season, including the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics should he qualify.

Posting the listing on Monday, the current bidding sits at $10,100, and has had 82 bids.

Per Business Insider, the auction is part of an ongoing conflict between Symmonds and US Track & Field, with the athlete describing the strict rules on athlete sponsorship and advertising “antiquated” and “absurd” in his listing.

Last year, Symmonds was controversially left off the American team for the world championships in Beijing because he would not sign a statement of conditions stipulated by the US Track & Field.

As part of the contract, Symmonds would have been forced to wear only Nike gear for all team appearances, which he refuted as it would breach his sponsorship deal with Brooks Running.

“Sometimes people watch the Olympics and think we’re still amateurs,” Symmonds told The New York Times in 2015.

“This is not a hobby. I’m the chief executive of my own company. This is my career, my job. I have to make sure I protect my contracts with my partners.”

In 2012, Symmonds posted a similar listing to auction off ad-space, with Milwaukee advertising firm Hanson Dodge Creative nabbing the prize for a cool $11,100. But during the U.S. Olympic Trials, which he won, and for the duration of the 2012 London Olympics, Symmonds was required by regulations to cover the tattoo with white tape.