Jason Sadler makes a surprisingly good living wearing other peoples’ t-shirts – $84,000 since launching his one-man ad service last January – but our experts are doubtful he can grow it into a larger, more sustainable model.
A year ago the 27-year-old Jacksonville, Florida entrepreneur launched a website – Iwearyourshirt.com – where he charged people to wear whatever shirt they sent him (read original story here). New Year’s Day was $1 and each successive day Sadler’s fee went up a buck, so this New Year’s Eve he will charge $365. Sadler made $66,795 for advertising on his back alone and another $18,000 in monthly sponsorships, where he charges $1,500 for an ad spot on his online monthly calendar.
“I’ve got companies that need more exposure than I can give in hours I can work in a day,” said Sadler, whose very first advertiser on January 1 was live video streaming website Ustream.tv, the same platform Sadler uses to broadcast his own live one-hour webcast to chat with viewers about the companies and the products displayed on his extra-large sized chest. So far his clients range from obscure bloggers and rock bands, to startups and established companies like Zappos, Prudential and Intuit. Comedian Bill Cosby even used him to try to get more people to sign up to his Facebook page.
“Every day I really try to give as much push and as much value without sales-pitching people,” said Sadler, who initially got the idea after seeing how many promotional t-shirts are discarded and thought he could offer the companies making them more value by actually wearing them around. “The value of doing all this content for $300, even if it only gets a couple hundred views on everything, is still pretty tremendous when you think about the grand scheme of things.”
For 2010, Sadler is doubling his daily prices - so it will cost advertisers $2 this January 1 and $730 on December 31. Monthly sponsorships will jump to $2,500. Sadler also hired a friend in Los Angeles to help tag-team on promotions, so now companies that buy spots will get two guys wearing their shirts and spreading the word virally online.