Ric Bowres and his head tattoo featuring the Kings logo was featured in a recent Kings billboard, a large 20 x 60 space along the 10 Freeway just outside of Downtown LA on your way to STAPLES Center.
Here the long-time Kings fan talks about that tattoo and what it was like to be featured in the campaign.
Q: Why do you think you were selected to be on a billboard for the LA Kings?
A: I have probably one of the most passionate, outrageous Kings tattoos you can get.
Q: Can you tell us about it?
A: It was at a point where we weren’t doing so hot as a team. I thought of some ways to express my favorite team and what better way to get my neighborhood and all the other fans I’m involved with amped up, so I went ahead and tattooed the Kings crown in the only place it should be, on my head.
Q: What was the reaction from family, friends, neighbors, etc.?
A: They thought, ‘Who’s this thug? Why did you tattoo your head?’ I got nothing but negative reactions from my family and nothing but positive feedback from my friends and the rest of the fans.
Q: What’s maybe the strangest reaction you’ve gotten?
A: The one I get the most is, ‘Is that real?’ People are just shocked that anybody would even do something like that. But there are a lot of people with Kings tattoos, I’ve seen probably 20 or 30. I’ve tattooed about three or four of them myself.
Q: With any tattoo there has to be a certain amount of pain tolerance. When that one was going on, can you describe how you were feeling?
A: It didn’t feel like a tattoo, it felt like cutting, like someone was actually cutting me. But the tattoos on my stomach and my ribs…those hurt more.
Q: Are those ones Kings tattoos?
A: No, just other tattoos.
Q: Is it weird to you that you can’t see the tattoo?
A: What’s funny is sometimes I’ll be in the shower, and my wife has these extra mirrors she does her make up in and sometimes those are still popped open and I’ll be drying off and it’s like, ‘Oh!’ because you don’t see it.
Q: What was your reaction when you heard about this Kings billboard and you had your photo taken?
A: I was a little reluctant at first but it’s a way to get out there, in my case it’s very extreme, but I think that promoting a fan base for any sport was something I was looking forward to. People go, ‘Wow’. We have some pretty hardcore fans out here in LA. You don’t see it like you do in the NBA or MLB or the NFL. We have some hardcore fans out here and it’s nice to see we’re actually being recognized.
Dino Guglielmelli, the President and CEO of Rocco’s Old School Tattoo Balm, partnered with the Kings on the project. He too answered the following questions from LAKings.com:
Q: Can you talk about how you came across Rick and this particular tattoo?
A: We have an annual Ink on the Rink contest and Rick was one of the people who sent in his ink and he was a finalist. Matt Greene had selected multiple people as finalists and he was one of the finalists in last year’s contest.
Q: You’re in the tattoo business and you’ve seen a lot of tattoos. When you saw his, what was running through your mind?
A: The thing that’s amazing to me is that there are so many Kings fans out there with ink and they have this special Kings ink and it’s all very personal for them. When you have tattoos it is a very personal thing and to have this many people who have this much passion for hockey who also have tattoos, it’s an amazing combination. There is so much passion with Kings fans and this is what it’s all about. We were just trying to give a little of that back to somebody who had so much passion with the Kings. I love the Kings, I’ve been a season ticket holder for 25 years so I know about the passion, and I know how passionate people can be about hockey and how passionate people are about the Kings. Really this was just our way of going, ‘Hey Rick, we support you.’
Q: Can you talk a little about your relationship to the billboard between the Kings and your company?
A: I saw all the proofs before we finalized it and we both had some comments on it so we saw it before it went up. It had the tattoo and it talked about Rocco’s and the Kings and this is a great partnership. Our collaboration is so unique. Not only are we doing tattoos, but we’re also have done music events and it just ties into everything hockey is all about, so it’s a wonderful business relationship. We’re both very passionate about all of the things these ads talked about.
Q: Every business needs a market and every business has a product to sell. Is this one of the more unusual methods of marketing when we talk about the billboard specifically?
A: Well billboards are commonplace for marketing. Rocco’s Old School products and Rocco’s Old School tattoo balm is a very unique product as there’s nothing else on the market like it, so for us to be able to tie in to something we love in hockey, and everybody in my business all loves hockey too and we’re all Kings fans, so for us to be able to do that -- incorporate, support and promote the Kings to ink enthusiasts -- is a win-win for everyone. As far as the billboard goes, doing these special kinds of events with the Kings, I don’t think anyone has ever done it before. And the management of the Kings are fantastic. We’re all friends, they’re all great guys. Like Rick said, you’re not going to see it in basketball, you’re not going to see it in baseball. It’s a fantastic opportunity and we have had a really great time.