Would you put a corporate logo tattoo on your body?
What about if you loved the brand?
Training for and competing in an Ironman event is both challenging and I’m sure very rewarding. Only a small percentage of the population can swim 2.4 miles, ride 112 miles and run a full marathon all in one shot.
After, many get an m-dot tattoo to signify their accomplishments. It’s a huge accomplishment, no one is denying that. But why get the Ironman brand on your body for ever after? Why not something unique to your experience?
Ironman recently sent me a cease and assist letter. I had been using the name “Ironman” and “Half Ironman” for two of our top level sponsor for the NY TRI EXPO ’16 and was asked to remove those terms from my company literature. I didn’t know that Ironman is a trademark. I thought Ironman was the generic term for a 140.6 and a Half Ironman was the generic term for a 70.3. I had no idea that the m-dot was the company logo and by getting a tattoo that would be an infringement of their logo and their brand.
I asked the lawyer about this when I spoke with him. “So all those people who have M-dot tattoos, that’s an infringement of your copyright?”
“That’s another story,” he told me, “the tattoo artists are not allowed to use but they do anyway. We have a hard time policing it.”
I took a look on the internet to see if other corporate logos were used as tattoos and found that people were using the McDonald’s logo, Apple logo and even the Coca Cola logo.
Rapid Realty is a real estate firm in New York City. According to the Times, they offered 800 employees a 15% pay raise if they tattoo the company’s logo. Nearly 40 employees accepted the challenge and now have the permanent mark of their employer on their body. I guess this is a little different? Or is it?
If after one finishes an Ironman and Ironman Corporation has a tattoo artist on site and as people are crossing the finish line, asking them, for an additional fee of course, if they want an M-dot tattoo, that would be okay. (Just hope they use the right M-dot tattoo and not the Michigan Department of Transportation logo, which is also an M-dot.)
What do you think?