Tattooing and Brand Sponsorship: How Far is Too Far?

Kelly Weidner, Anjali Bal, Samantha Rains, Christopher Leeds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose:The purpose of this paper is to explore how consumers view sponsorship tattoos. This study specifically addresses three research questions: first, how consumers view the idea of sponsorship tattooing; second, how the brand of the tattoo alters acceptance of the tattoo; and third, how the placement on the body of the athlete affects acceptance of the tattoo.

Design/methodology/approach: To address these research questions, focus groups were conducted.

Findings: Findings highlighted three important themes related to tattoos, sponsorships and brand perceptions: meaning of the tattoo itself, meaning related to the brand and the tattoo and meaning related to the tattoo and athlete.

Practical implications: For practitioners, this research highlights the complexity between consumers’ interaction with brands through sponsorship tattoos, which is a complicated, multi-dimensional process during which meaning can be assigned to multiple facets of the sponsorship relationship.

Originality/value: For scholars, this research offers a glimpse into an emerging trend that ties together the multi-billion dollar sports and tattoo industries. In sum, this research identifies ways in which consumers interpret meaning related to the tattoo itself, the brand and the athlete based on placement, sport and brand perceptions.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Product & Brand Management
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Marketing
  • Brand
  • Corporate tattoos


  • Business
  • Economics
  • Marketing

Cite this