Looking for a new job in the tattoo realm? MLS team Philadelphia Union is currently seeking a CTO—not a Chief Technology Officer, but a Chief TATTOO Officer. How's that for a title on your business card?
The Philadelphia Union are a revolutionary organization that created this gig to further link ink to their players and fan base. The job posting explains:
Tattoos are a vital part of sport, fan and supporter culture. Just as tattoos are for life, fans choose a club to passionately support for life. As our club grows, players and staff are joining the Union from geographies outside of Philadelphia. Given their love for tattoos and unfamiliarity with their new city, they often look for guidance in seeking a new, local artist.
To reflect this love of ink and club, the Philadelphia Union is searching for the first ever Chief Tattoo Officer. This is a one-of-a-kind, revolutionary position for an artist or shop to become the go-to place for the Union. Players, coaches, front office staff and even fans will come to you for their tattoos, Union related or not. Tattoos are for life, just like supporting a club, and we want you doing the work.
"Every time a fan posts a piece of fresh ink [dedicated the Philadelphia Union] we all huddle around the the monitor to check it out," Doug Vosik, the Union's Vice President of Marketing tells Inked. "Tattoos are part of our culture, our DNA."
The position of Chief Tattoo Officer came to Vosik after his first encounter with the newly-signed Dutch defender Giliano Wijnaldum. "His English isn't the best," Vosik says. "I saw him in short sleeves, and he is covered in tattoos, so I took off my blazer and rolled up my sleeves to show him mine. Without [being fluent in each other's language] we instantly communicated and bonded over the tattoos on our arms. That really sparked the idea."
Only one of the Union players is from Philadelphia and many of their guys are internationals (Brazil, Cameroon, Germany, and other hotbeds of soccer/football), as the job posting explains, these guys are in a new city with an unfamiliar tattoo scene and whoever is hired for this position will guide them through it.
When Inked first learned of this opportunity we thought that it was a stunt like Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park or Minor League Baseball Brooklyn Cyclones' Seinfeld Night—admittedly we went to the latter and it was really fun. But after talking with Vosik it was clear that the club has the best interest of the industry, their fans and players in mind. Much like in the NBA, soccer players without tattoos are the minority. All athletes are subjected to a demanding schedule which leaves little time to research artists, let alone sit in a tattoo chair for eight hours. Inked surmises that one of the reasons athletes have terrible ink is because they don't have enough time to flesh out their research and tattoos. By creating this position, the Union is showing that they respect the art of tattooing and want to make sure that the industry is best represented on their star players and their community.
Who is a candidate for Chief Tattoo Officer? Great question. Firstly it could be a tattooer or a representative from a shop or maybe even just a liaison—a CTO has never been hired so part of the interviewing process will be determining the role. Vosik, who has a great understanding of the tattoo industry, knows that a "generalist tattooer" might not be the right fit, if a player wants a realism tattoo, Vosik wants to connect him with the best realism artist. "In the club we have guys with Japanese sleeves, American Traditional and single-needle black-and-grey tattoos," Vosik says. So the ability to provide the highest quality tattoos across genres is paramount. Side note: Vosik says that the genre his European players gravitate towards is black-and-grey, to think from the California penal system to the bright lights of Wembley Stadium!
The role—does not seem like it will be full-time—will first work with the players on tattoos and then fans, and who knows: perhaps the head coach who has no ink at this time but is willing to consider it? The Union is currently accepting applications to firstname.lastname@example.org. After the club narrows down the candidates they plan to show the players the portfolios and see which artists impress them.
If you apply, good luck, and if we've covered your artwork feel free to use us as a reference.