When Does Selling Your Body = Golden Opportunity?

A session at SXSW Interactive 2013

Saturday 9th March, 2013

12:30pm to 1:30pm (CST)

You've seen the extravagant sponsorship deals with athletes in the NBA, NFL, and NASCAR. But how often how do you hear about US athletes—the best in the world in a given sport—struggling to get by without a second job as a construction worker or accountant?
To help fund his Olympic dreams and make a statement about the current sponsorship restrictions in his sport of track & field, Nick Symmonds took to eBay to auction off a part of his body during his Olympic races to the sponsor with the highest bid. The result: a tattoo of a logo on his shoulder even his mom is proud of, a picture perfect partnership, and a big "middle finger" to a few international governing bodies.
How did social media, digital content development, and a bit of PR take one athlete's cause (and his sponsor's logo) to a billion viewers worldwide and turn an $11,000 "media buy" into gold? Did we mention that tattoo with the sponsor's logo must be covered by a piece of tape in every single race?

About the speakers

This person is speaking at this event.
Nick Symmonds

US Olympian, 800m, Nick Symmonds LLC

Nick Symmonds is one of the fastest men in America at 800-meters. Based in Eugene, Oregon, Nick is a professional track athlete and 2008 & 2012 Olympian. A graduate of Willamette University, he competes internationally for the US and the Oregon Track Club Elite under the guidance of legendary distance coach, Mark Rowland.

Charismatic and outspoken, Nick has been labelled by many as a leader in the fight for athletes' rights in track & field. He's determined to use his dedicated following—online and off— to change the sport's governing bodies' marketing restrictions which only allow minimal advertising dollars to reach track athletes.
When he's not breaking records on the track, Nick is a climber, fisherman and all-around outdoorsman. In 2012, Nick ran in the fastest 800m Olympic race of all time finishing 5th, and his time was good enough to become the 3rd fastest American ever at that distance.

This person is speaking at this event.
Sara Meaney

Pres, Hanson Dodge Creative

Sara Meaney is President of Strategy & Growth at Hanson Dodge Creative, America's leading active lifestyle agency. In her role, she is responsible for the agency's strategy and business development with oversight of agency growth and client services.

When she isn't busy advancing HDC, Sara is a sought-after keynote speaker and university guest lecturer at the undergraduate and graduate level. She volunteers her time with the Creative Alliance of Milwaukee, acts as Co-Chair of Communications for Tempo and she sits on the board of directors for the Betty Brinn Children's Museum and Milwaukee Film.

Sara was recognized in the Business Journal's Forty under 40 class of 2010, is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and has completed executive education programs at Harvard Business School and Kellogg School of Management.

Next session in Capitol A-D

3:30pm Make It Rain with Mobile: Turn Data into Dollars by David Kenny

2 attendees

  • Nick Symmonds
  • Sara Meaney

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Time 12:30pm1:30pm CST

Date Sat 9th March 2013

Session type

Solo / Dual / Panel

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