Philadelphia Union Announce MLS’ First Official ‘Chief Tattoo Officer’

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Playing for the Philadelphia Union comes with some pretty sweet perks, including free ink.

The Philly-based Major League Soccer team announced Thursday that it’s filled one of the most unique positions in all of professional sports: “Chief tattoo officer.” Jay Cunliffe, owner of Aston, Penn.-based Bonedaddys Tattoo, will assume the role, which is the first of its kind in the MLS.

“The CTO is a real position,” Doug Vosik, Union vice president of marketing, recently told the Philadelphia Enquirer. “The CTO will be another professional resource for our players, just like trainers (and) … nutritionists. If a player wants a tattoo, now they know they can call an artist who can work to their tastes and their specific schedules.

” … As far as I’ve learned from our research, we are the first major pro team to have a tattoo officer as one of the services we offer players,”

Choosing the perfect tattoo artist wasn’t nearly as easy as you’d expect.

After announcing the position in February, the Union fielded more than 150 applicants not just from around the United States, but also the entire world, Vosik told The Enquirer. Once the pool narrowed to 13, the final decision was left to the team’s staff and players.

So why did the Union settle on Cunliffe?

“(The Union) said they were looking for well-rounded artists who could do a range of styles, from traditional American to photo-realism to Japanese designs,” the 37-year-old Cunliffe told the Enquirer. “And I like to think I can have that range.”

The Union signed Cunliffe and Bonedaddys to a one-year contract, and eventually also will ask them to design murals and host fan events for Union supporters looking to get tattooed, according to The Enquirer.

Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images

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