If the name Hostgator Dotcom sounds familiar it’s because it’s also the name of a popular Internet hosting company. The man formerly known as Billy Gibby sold the rights to his name to the highest bidder, in addition to selling advertising space in the form of permanent tattoos on his face and body.
We’ve seen similar gimmicks in the past. Just last year we reported about Pat Vaillacourt, a Canadian man who charges $35 to tattoo people and business site addresses on his body, and earlier this year there was the story of Tina Beznec, from New Zealand, who auctioned off a portion of her buttock to be tattooed with whatever the winner desired, in an atempt to raise money for unpaid bills and a trip to Australia. But the case of Hostgator Dotcom is a lot more interesting. The Anchorage-based man started offering advertising spots on his body during the mid 2000s, in a time when the practice had become really popular. It was an easy way to fund his boxing career, so he could fight to support the cause of organ donation, and he even set his sights on claiming a Guinness record for most corporate logos tattooed on a human body. He’s still selling advertising space on his face today, in a constant selfless effort to support his family. In 2010, he took another extreme step and sold off the rights to his original name to the highest bidder, which happened to be Hostgator.com.
Photo: Bizarre Magazine
Dotcom, a firm supporter of organ donation, who actually gave one of his kidneys to a total stranger, used site logo tattoos to pay for hospital bills after the surgery, and even though he stopped offering his services for a while, he resumed the practice when the recession hit. “I did it to make sure my kids wouldn’t be homeless,” the father-of-five recently told BuzzFeed. He currently has 37 tattoos on his body, many of them on his face, and although he’s got plenty of available inventory, he’s having trouble finding buyers. He even offered to add BuzzFeed on his forehead for a mere $800 fee, and change his name to “Buzzfeeddotcom Buzzfeeddotcom Buzzfeeddotcom”, in an effort to keep his weird business alive. After years in which finding clients wasn’t a problem, the market for human billboard seems to be dying off, and people like Hostgator are forced to contact websites directly to inquire about advertising.
Photo: Bizarre Magazine
One of the biggest problems Dotcom has faced throughout his career as a living billboard has been dealing with extinct advertisers. Their names on his body no longer served any purpose, so he just covered them up with other brands. Unfortunately, many of the current site names on his face and body are from the adult video industry, and that hurt his bare-knuckle boxing career. The man formerly known as Billy Gibby says he was taken off the bill of a match airing on a Christian television station because of all the adult entertainment site ads on his face and body. Plus, “a lot of people think I’m a criminal just because I have tattoos,” Dotcom added. Talking about his future plans, Hostgator said he’s considering one day selling a giant tattoo on his whole body to a single company and becoming a “human-mascot-type thing.”
Photo: Stephen Nigl
Making a connection between Hostgator’s boxing career and his weird name, you could say him getting knocked out gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “Hostgator is down”.